High Heel

Prom season is right around the corner – and planning for a prom during a pandemic brings with it a unique set of challenges.

Widespread vaccine administration and less rigid capacity limits in Pennsylvania have many high school seniors hopeful they will get to experience in-person end-of-year celebrations – including, of course, prom. As the coronavirus pandemic has continued into the 2020-2021 school year, many school districts are reimagining their end-of-year celebrations into COVID-19 compliant events.

CDC Recommendations for Large Gatherings


The CDC continues to recommend that large gatherings be avoided where physical distancing cannot be maintained. Virtual events continue to pose the least amount of risk to attendees. However, with certain health and safety modifications, smaller gatherings of people from the same community in which individuals from different households wear masks and practice social distancing can, in fact, be considered CDC compliant.

Effective April 4, 2021 indoor events are permitted to allow 25% maximum capacity, regardless of size of venue and outdoor events are permitted to have 50% of maximum capacity. Maximum capacity is permitted only if attendees are able to comply with the social distancing requirement.

Safe Prom Tips

Below are some important considerations to holding a safe prom and compliant in-person senior celebrations.

  • Limit attendance to the Senior Class and only permit one guest per attendee
  • Require Parents/Guardians to sign a waiver of liability to participate
  • Require each participant to undergo temperature checks/screens upon admission
  • Stagger arrival times
  • Use multiple entrances
  • Provide each cleared participant a wrist band
  • Separate attendees into groups/pods by using assigned table seating
  • Consider breaking the event into mini-events/stations
    • Pictures
    • Dinner as individual plated meals
    • Games with limits to shared items
  • Modify room layouts providing physical barriers between each activity
  • Establish a written refund policy prior to the ticket purchase
  • Consider outdoor venues
  • Have available adequate supplies to support hygiene
  • Continue to promote healthy behaviors
  • Continue to monitor cases in your community prior to the event


Alfred Maiello

Alfred C. Maiello is the founding member of MBM and has represented area school districts as solicitor for 50 years. He counsels school districts and educational institutions on leading developments in school law and guiding them through their day-to-day and long-term challenges.