‘Back to normal’ includes Canal Winchester, Groveport Madison proms

Jack McLaughlin
ThisWeek
Garilee Ogden

The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic led to the cancellation or alteration of important school events last year, but both Canal Winchester and Groveport Madison high schools will hold proms this spring.  

And while Groveport Madison has yet to decide what kind of graduation it will hold for the class of 2021, Canal Winchester will host a traditional, in-person ceremony this year. 

“We’re trying to do our best to get back to a normal end to the school year for everyone, and I think that’s best for all of us moving forward,” Canal Winchester Superintendent James Sotlar said. 

Prom plans 

Canal Winchester juniors and seniors were asked to decide whether to hold separate proms at the Westin Great Southern Columbus on April 16 or a combined event at the high school auxiliary gym May 14, and they opted for the former. Because the Westin has a limited capacity, the prom will be held in two parts: The junior prom is planned from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and the senior prom will follow from 9-11 p.m. Junior-senior couples may choose either event but can’t attend both. 

Groveport Madison’s prom is scheduled from 7-10:30 p.m. on May 8 at the Columbus Athenaeum. It also has a lower capacity.  

“We have had to limit the dance to seniors and their dates to help us comply with Department of Health requirements and to ensure a safe setting for our students,” Groveport Madison Superintendent Garilee Ogden said. “We can accommodate up to 250 students.”  

Ogden said tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis.  

Graduation plans 

The Canal Winchester district will hold an in-person graduation ceremony at 9 a.m. May 29 at World Harvest Church. Each student will be allowed five tickets for guests. 

Sotlar noted that these plans may be altered, depending on future COVID-19 updates. 

“All information is subject to change due to the governor's orders or mandates,” he said. “Things can get more restrictive, they can loosen up – we don’t know yet. But right now, it will be five tickets per student.” 

Sotlar said the high school football stadium would be the backup plan if World Harvest decides to close its building. If the ceremony is moved outside and there’s bad weather, the ceremony will be delayed in two-hour increments.  

“We are going to have a traditional graduation ceremony this year, one way, shape or form.” Sotlar said. 

As of April 5, Groveport had not announced graduation plans. 

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