Proms and the promise of a better year for Mon County Schools

Jim Bissett, The Dominion Post, Morgantown, W.Va.
·3 min read

May 4—Rented tuxedos and gowns just so.

Corsages, the newly waxed car in the driveway for the cruise to the hall and the requisite cellphone snaps in front of the fireplace, for the memory and mom's Facebook page.

Last year, prom — the prime social event in high school — was canceled in Monongalia County altogether because of COVID-19.

This year, it was a little bit different.

Prom happened in Monongalia County's school district this year, even if there was no dancing and tables were socially distanced.

Clay-Battelle High School got dressed up this past Saturday for its prom.

Morgantown High and University hosted theirs last month.

While it wasn't exactly "normal, " district officials pronounced prom not bad this year.

Especially since the events were able to happen in the first place.

View photos from the Clay-Battelle Prom May 1.

Keylis Simson, Carley Hoke, Leona Price and Kate Spears pose for a photo Students dance Cooper Watson, Liv Ammons, Madeline Vansayor and Makayla Wilson dance Kendra Stewart is crowned the Queen J.J Figueroa, Kendra Stewart, Taya Stewart, Kelly Luzader and Autumn Stewart pose for a photo Cooper Watson, Liv Ammons, dance during prom Health officials and school officials had to think about it, because the coronavirus is still a presence.

The district last week noted positive cases among 17 students and six staffers in its schools.

A total of 202 classmates and another six staffers were noted that week as being on quarantine because of contact tracing.

Mon also showed green Sunday on the County Alert Map maintained by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

For Superintendent Eddie Campbell Jr. and other school officials, green means go.

That's "go, " as in registering, then receiving your vaccine, while taking care to go back for that ever-critical second dose.

While also continuing to follow the pandemic protocols: Masking, handwashing, social distancing.

View photos from the University High Prom April 24.

Emmett Cottrell and Anna Reese pose for a photo at the flower wall.

Heather Brunner and Sarah Santrock pose for a photo in front of the lit up Prom sign Isabella Nichols, Sarah Santrock, Kendall Kirby, Heather Brunner, Caroline Kirby, and Sophie Valachovic pose for a photo at the flower wall.

Jameson Walters, Jack Ernesters, Sam Frasch, and Gage Wilson pose for a photo in their matching suits.

Ariel Stern and Sydney Hauk pose for a photo.

Mia Rice and Jacob Rechter walk in after being announced.

A lit up prom sign.

Quarantines last week included 45 at one school after a classmate presented with a positive diagnosis.

A number of student-athletes and whole teams have been forced to sit down this season because of the same, Campbell said.

In the meantime, a staffer at Skyview Elementary presented with a positive diagnosis Monday, but no quarantines were required of students or fellow employees, the superintendent said.

Campbell said he's looking forward to fall and the 2021-22 year, which could make for even more COVID-distancing.

Both Moderna and Pfizer are making solid progress in trials of vaccines for children 12-15 years of age. Pfizer has already been approved and doses have already been administered to students 16 and up.

"Until we can get everyone vaccinated, we're going to keep having cases and quarantines, " the superintendent said.

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