Altoona officially cancels prom
District had hoped to hold dance for seniors in July
When the COVID-19 pandemic altered school calendars and forced districts to make alternative plans for end-of year traditions, the Altoona Area School District remained hopeful that it could provide graduation ceremonies, a prom and afterglow this summer for seniors.
In May, the school board set July 25 for a daylong event of graduation, senior dance and afterglow, but as the summer progresses and the pandemic continues, Altoona school officials have conceded that the prom dance and afterglow won’t be possible.
The district planned to hold graduation ceremonies at 10 a.m. at Mansion Park with a seniors only dance at the Jaffa Shrine Center on the same evening, followed by an afterglow at Lakemont Park.
Altoona Area High School Principal Andrew Neely said that as of now, the graduation ceremony has not been canceled, but cautioned that social distancing considerations will apply. He said a final decision on the graduation ceremony will be made by July 14.
In a letter to students, Neely said when they made plans for the events, it was their hope that pandemic restrictions would be eased to allow for group gatherings.
“We were hoping that restrictions might be relaxed further to allow us to hold a prom for our seniors, but this has proven not to be the case,” he said.
Last month, seniors participated in a virtual graduation ceremony that can be viewed on the district’s YouTube channel.