WHS Plans Its First Prom Since 2019


Graphic/Kristyn Dentremont

Walpole High’s prom is the first major school function in two years

The prom is a rite of passage for high school students as it is a celebratory night for the upperclassmen to indulge in their adolescent years, but also to learn a certain etiquette for formal events. After two years of cancellations, the 2022 Walpole High School prom committee is currently beginning preparations for the event to take place at Gillette Stadium on Saturday, May 14. After attending virtual events via live-stream and pre-recorded ceremonies, students and staff are thrilled to see a traditional school event happen. 

 However, another prom guest that may potentially attend the dance this spring is COVID-19. Approximately 600 students are invited to this event, so there is a high risk of transmission if students do not follow the expected protocols. It may not be “normal,” but after having gone through a pandemic, the world is learning to experience a “new normal.”

“This year could certainly see some restrictions, such as masking, restricted numbers, etc. or even another cancellation of the event should we need to do so,” Principal Stephen Imbusch said. “However, I am trying to be optimistic about this year’s prom, and hopefully we will be able to move ahead with it.”

Proms are often separated between the grades, but the Walpole High School combined prom creates a unique experience that allows different grades to bond on this special evening. For the last two years, however, large gatherings have been discouraged in order to limit the spread of COVID-19. Knowing this, there was speculation among students as to whether the prom would include both juniors and seniors.

“At this point, we are planning a traditional junior/senior prom until such time as we are told otherwise,” Mr. Imbusch said. 

The prom was officially announced on Jan. 28, and students have immediately begun preparations. Hallway conversations consist of where students should buy dresses and rent tuxes, how girls should style their hair and who is going to be each other’s date. In fact, students have already hopped on the social media trend of creating dress accounts for students to post a picture of their gown.

“I think it’s really fun to have this account because we’ve never done something like it before,” an anonymous WHS student said. “People can go on the account to make sure they aren’t buying a similar dress, or you can look on the account to get inspiration for yours.”

The prom is an exciting night for everyone involved, but this event is infamous for its afterparties. Majority of students attend post-prom celebrations which is a great continuation of the night, but it can be assumed that many of these gatherings will be maskless. Given today’s circumstances, there may be an incredibly high risk of COVID-19 transmission. Therefore, the school is putting much emphasis on practicing proper protocols right now in order to have a prom this spring.