In a year where nothing is normal, John Jay’s Senior Prom on Friday, June 18 is shaping up to be a classic event … hors d'oeuvres, plated dinners and dancing together in an open, festive space.
It’s thanks to the Senior Class Student Council and Advisors who started early, cast a wide net and were willing to try something different - and lucky timing.
good news became great news
The prom will be at Life: The Place to Be in Ardsley. The loft-like event space met all of John Jay's requirements; its capacity of 1,200 combined with state-of-the-art ventilation could accommodate all 257 seniors with social distance and reduced capacity.
The good news became great news on May 19 when New York State loosened its restrictions on indoor capacity. Seniors can now bring dates from outside of the senior class and the divider wall separating a large banquet hall into two spaces will be removed.
“Students are super happy,” said Tom Rizzotti, one of the senior class advisors.
grads and guests, together
The solution works but there are still a few hurdles.
Schools are one of several categories of organizations which still require masks and social distance, despite New York’s reopening announced by Governor Cuomo on May 19. Attendees of school events—indoors or outdoors—must be masked and show proof of either being fully vaccinated, having recovered from COVID in the last three months or having a negative COVID test three days prior to the prom via a PCR test or within 6 hours of the prom via a rapid test.
For those who need it, John Jay High School’s nurse will conduct rapid COVID-19 tests on Friday, June 18th.
John Jay has already begun collecting students’ proof of vaccination. A form sent to all parents of seniors, due on May 28, will show the exact number. "The more students vaccinated, the smoother the process leading up to prom and graduation will go," said Steve Zoeller, the other senior class advisor.
a prom to remember
special and unique celebrations
“There’s a lot of moving parts,” said Rizzotti.
Hours have gone into figuring out the logistics. The advisors and administrators are motived by the class who missed so much during their last year of high school.
“We getting to try new things,” said Zoeller. “The prom and graduation will be special and unique. Our seniors deserve it.”