In previous years, the prom was held in the beginning of June, several weeks before graduation. By that date, many seniors had completed the majority of their academic requirements. For some, the prom was viewed as the beginning of a weekend of revelry. At the end of the evening, many changed their attire and dispersed to various locations to prolong the party. Some spent the weekend in a beach house in the Hamptons while others patronized comedy clubs in the city.
This year, in an effort to quell these activities, several changes have been implemented. Festivities will now take place as follows: graduation rehearsal at 5 pm on Thursday, June 14, the prom on Friday, June 15, and graduation on Sunday June 17.
The new schedule is the result of many conversations with parents, student council members and the administration. Principal Mark Bayer explained the rationale: “We really were looking at all of the events around senior year, to put them in a place where they won’t impact [academics].” Many activities have been added over the years including a barbecue, beach day and the health fair, highlighting the celebratory ambiance during the school year. “We felt it sends a mixed message,” Bayer said.
Last year, some parents arrived at the prom at 10:30; bringing flip flops and casual clothes to facilitate the exodus to post prom venues. This put a damper on the ambiance of the evening. From now on, students will still be allowed to leave early but they will be prohibited from changing before their departure. Bayer expressed the hope that this year the prom will cease to be “seen as a precursor to other activities.”
In addition, the new date was chosen out of consideration for juniors who are still facing a full course load in the beginning of June. Bayer noted that “a significant number” of juniors are invited to the prom by members of the senior class.