BCSD high school prom decision delayed
Published February 18, 2021
Berkeley County School District (BCSD) is committed to preserving traditional educational and school social/emotional experiences for students, as much as is practical, during this school year marked by a worldwide health pandemic. As we approach the final months of the school year, we understand that many are beginning to plan and prepare for experiences such as high school prom. Due to the investment required to prepare for high school prom, we wanted to inform parents and students that, at this time, a decision regarding the hosting of proms by our high schools has not been finalized. BCSD does not anticipate making a final decision regarding prom before March 30, 2021.
Currently, high school proms are subject to the Governor’s Executive Order issued August 2, 2020. As such, the event attendance cannot “exceed fifty percent (50%) of the location’s occupancy limit as determined by the fire marshal, if applicable, or two hundred fifty (250) persons, whichever is less.” The SC Department of Commerce, in close consultation with DHEC, has managed an exception process specific to events where more than 250 guests are expected to attend. Event hosts must apply for an exception and satisfactorily demonstrate an ability to comply with federal and state COVID-19 procedures and protocols. We have received guidance from the SC Department of Education about this process, and they will be working with district’s across the state to assist.
In anticipation of the possibility of potentially hosting proms this year, BCSD high schools did contract event venue spaces; however, these contracts include a cancellation clause that does not require the payment of any fees as a result of necessary cancellation. We will honor these contracts if and until a decision is made regarding the hosting of high school proms in the district.
We understand that our students look forward to these events each year, and, if at all possible, we want to provide our students with traditional school experiences; however, we must consider the health, safety and practicality of hosting large-scale social gatherings when finalizing any decisions. BCSD leadership will continue working with our high school principals to monitor conditions, and will reserve any final decision regarding whether proms will be held until after March 30.
Please continue to check the BCSD website for updates.