NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The courtyard at John Overton High School may not look special, but for students, it will be the location of an important night.
“I’ve got this amazing dress. I love the dress, love it," said senior Jalin Winfrey. Until now, she didn’t think she would have a prom. “I’m looking forward to, yes, prom, the hair, the makeup, everything, the glam, the glitz.”
Now the courtyard at John Overton will host the big night. “It may not be the prom of my dreams but it’s still a prom,” said Winfrey.
This comes after Metro Nashville Public Schools released plans for students to experience the right of passage.
"We’re not charging the kids for tickets because we are having it in our own campus in our courtyard. But we’re going to make it beautiful and we’re going to make it festive and it’s going to be all about seniors,” said the school's executive principal, Dr. Jill Pittman.
Proms in the district must occur outside like on a football field or parking lot and everyone must wear masks when not eating or drinking.
“The kids can dance but they need to stay within their pod,” said Pittman, “they won’t have traditional sit-down dinner food but snacks or drinks that are individually packaged.”
Similar rules apply for graduation where students will be limited to no more than four guests depending on the venue, and attendees will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms before entering.
“Cleaning the microphone after somebody has spoken, no hugging the graduates, which is going to be really hard for me,” said Pittman.
Even with all the changes, Winfrey is grateful to those who made them possible. “Thank you because I feel like my high school career would not be complete without these specific memorable moments,” she said.