NewsGetting Back to School


Celebrating prom night during a pandemic at Rancho Solano Prep in Scottsdale

Posted at 5:09 AM, Apr 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-10 10:46:10-04

SCOTTSDALE, AZ — It's a night most high school seniors look forward to all year, and one they remember long after graduation.

Prom, the long-standing tradition and final celebration for outgoing seniors, came to a screeching halt in 2020 as the spread of COVID-19 forced schools across the country to cancel their plans.

This year, as case numbers continued to trend downward, and more Arizonans were getting vaccinated, Rancho Solano Preparatory School administrators in Scottsdale decided they could move forward with a dance for their students.

Knowing they'd have to balance safety and fun, school administrators made the decision to host the event outside.

"What we’re all about here is that any time you’re presented with a challenge, it’s really a chance for opportunity," said Rancho Solano Principal Gordon Brown. "What other people might see as [a] huge hurdle we just see it as another opportunity for us to grow here and to do things a little bit differently.”

The "Garden Soiree" themed dance took place on Rancho Solano's football field, complete with mini-golf, croquet, Jenga and other games for students to enjoy.

School staff required students to wear masks at all times, unless eating or drinking, and any guests that did not attend Rancho Solano had to provide negative COVID-19 test results before attending.

“I'm shocked that we were able to pull something off like this," said senior Evan Punches. "I wasn’t expecting something this big and this cool”

"I’m really grateful. I think it turned out great with all the lights in different activities that we can all do well also still social distancing," added senior Amanda Koath.