FHS Prom, Graduation, Looking More Like ‘Normal’

Franklin High School students will once again be dressed to the nines during the June 1 Senior Prom. (File photo).

With the easing of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the Franklin High School Class of 2021 will have a graduation and senior prom that are more along the lines of what is expected of those celebrations.

The senior prom is set for 6 p.m. June 1, at the Forest Lodge in Warren.

According to FHS principal Frank Chmiel, there was a Warrior connection in getting the venue: FHS Class of ’95 Alum, Anthony Pancheri, is the catering contact there.

“It was the perfect match for us,” Chmiel said.

The prom will be held outdoors, under the several canopies erected on the property. Students will have to adhere to pandemic safety measures, including wearing masks and practicing social distancing. There will be plenty of wipers and hand sanitizer available.

Still, there will be dancing to a DJ, as well as many of the other traditional prom trappings.

“I can’t wait,” Chmiel said. “It is going to be one of the last times that I get to celebrate with the Class of 2021. I am very happy that we could do this for them, and I know that they are grateful.”

Students are currently in the process of picking their graduation day. A form on the high school web site asks students to pick from June 25, 28, 29 or 30.

Students must make their choices by May 28, according to the form.

Graduation was originally going to mimic last year’s celebrations, with separate ceremonies with limited attendance on consecutive days. But with Gov. Murphy lifting restrictions on outdoor gatherings, the school administration decided to go back to the traditional single ceremony in Warrior Stadium, said district spokeswoman Mary Clark.

Clark said a time has not yet been determined, but the administration is thinking of holding the ceremony early in the day, in deference to the possibility of hot weather.

She said the duration of the ceremony probably won’t be as long as it has in previous years.

“They’re evaluating what pieces of a typical graduation they’re going to include,” she said. “The most important part is having people’s names read and having them all together.”

“To keep things more contained due to the pandemic, it might not be as lengthy as a typical graduation,” she said.

Another year-end staple, the Middle School “Moving Up” ceremony, will be held at the high school on June 17, Clark said.

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