Mountain Valley High School in Rumford initially planned its prom for this month but is now considering holding the event on June 11, the day after the Class of 2021 graduates.

The Regional School Unit 10 school is not the only one revisiting discussions on the traditional event this year. At RSU 56’s Dirigo High School in Dixfield, however, the seniors and juniors have decided to forego spring prom this year, Principal Pam Doyen said.

“I asked them (on Thursday if they wanted a prom). They (decided they) are not having a prom; our seniors did not want to take the chance of an outbreak before graduation,” Doyen said in an email to the Rumford Falls Times last Friday.

But at RSU 10’s Buckfield Junior-Senior High School, Carnival Ball will be held outdoors at the school this Saturday, May 15, according to senior class advisor Pam Umsteadt.

“Here at BJSHS we normally have what we call Carnival Ball and it is usually held in February and is open to the community. This year because of COVID we are doing things a little differently,” Umsteadt said. “We are having Carnival Ball on May 15 and it will be outdoors and for seniors and one guest only.

“Usually in February, when Carnival Ball is held, there is a fee and it is held in our gym,” she continued. “We wanted to give the seniors something because they have missed out on so much this year. I think most of them are excited to have it outdoors because it is something different.”

Kathy Carey, a junior class adviser at Mountain Valley High School in Rumford, said their postponed event, which may be held June 11 at the high school, will be a “flipped prom.”

“It’s going to be a semiformal event. We are having the Teachers’ Lounge Mafia Improv and then a nice dinner and then ending the evening with a hypnotist. We are trying to give the kids something for a fun night out,” Carey said last week before the event this weekend was postponed Monday.

On Monday, junior Mikayla Burse emailed a few of her thoughts to the Rumford Falls Times regarding having a prom at the school.

“Prom this year will be nothing short of different compared to the typical protocols of the event, but I believe that we are so lucky to be able to hold a prom at all. After over a year of closings, cancellations, and strict limitations, our principal, Mr. (Matt) Gilbert, allowed us to return some normalcy to the table,” Burse wrote. “Yes, masks will be mandated, and there will be social distancing, but with the attractions that are planned for us students — and staff, if they choose to come — will be a distraction, so to speak, from the understandable restrictions.

“As for the preparations for prom during a pandemic, you can imagine that it isn’t all that easy. For example, there are many businesses that are struggling, and we also have to order online or over the phone. Despite the difficulties of planning a school dance amidst a pandemic, our class adviser, Mrs. Carey, has worked hard to include a hypnotist, and an improv team to come for entertainment,” she continued. “We are very grateful for her, and we are so happy to have someone who is a great advocate for the student body.

“Personally, I have ordered my dress online, so that is one difference compared to the typical school dance event, haha! We are so lucky to have the opportunity to host an event after so many casualties during the school year, and we’re excited to see more opportunities like this come our way in the near future!” Burse wrote.


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