As many of you may know, this year's prom will be limited to members of the junior and senior class, with the exception of those student’s dates, who may be freshmen or sophomores.
Many students are upset by this change - and rumors that the juniors planned this to exclude lower classmen have fueled their displeasure.
A survey conducted during advisory block on Tuesday, October 25 revealed that the bulk of Nantucket High School students oppose the new restriction (see graph below)
Apparently, this decision has been in the works for the past few years due to the steady increase in class size, though NHS principal Dr. Buckey said that the dance was limited to juniors at one other time - even though class sizes were smaller. It was opened to all grades when the juniors thought their prom would feel more meaningful and special with more students in attendance. However last year, when prom tickets sold out, Dr. Buckey felt that it was necessary to broach the conversation of limiting the dance to juniors. He took the discussion to the School Council and the faculty who supported the idea. The decision was later made to open Prom to seniors as well.
When asked how he believed classes would respond to such a significant change, Dr. Buckey said,“I think that any sort of change is difficult, and especially a change where people perceive that they are losing something or missing out and rightfully the juniors did not want their prom to be the one that was different and for people to feel like they were excluded from it. I hope to make it clear that the decision to allow only the junior and senior class to prom is not a reflection of past proms - in the sense of appropriateness. Many would report that the the proms the past few years have been very well done and that the advisors and class officers have done an excellent job in creating a special and memorable night for all who attend. It was the sheer number of tickets being sold and then running out of tickets which marked the tipping point.”
There is a concern among some students in the junior class that fewer attendees will mean less money raised. However, Dr. Buckey believes that there will be no issue whatsoever regarding fundraising on Nantucket. To give some perspective, last year’s junior class raised approximately $30,000 at the December Delight fundraiser and approximately $10,000 at prom.
Dr. Buckey hopes that this decision will also help to address parent's concerns that prom (particularly the activities that may occur post-prom) may be “too much too soon” for their younger high schoolers. Additionally, he hopes this will quell their concern that their freshmen and sophomores have an expectation that they will attend prom every year.