The Nevada school district has canceled Nevada High’s prom “due to recommendations regarding social distancing,” according to an email sent to families last week.


“Due to current IDPH guidelines and recommendations regarding social distancing, as well as the direct recommendation of Story County Public Health, the District has made the decision to cancel the 2020 Prom,” according to the email sent to families.


“A gathering of 150-200 people in a confined room (or on a dance floor) is not an event that is consistent with guidelines for other current District activities or the NCSD Return to School Plan.”


Despite the 2019-20 school year ending early due to COVID-19, the Nevada school district, early on, sought ways to hold a prom for students in person.


“While high school graduation is a once-in-a-lifetime event for students, prom is also an event that most students only get to experience a couple of times,” Nevada Superintendent Steve Gray told the Tribune in May. “Our students have had many experiences taken away this spring due to the pandemic, and those are experiences that provide special memories of high school.


“If we can preserve a small part of that, then we feel a responsibility to make every effort to do so.”


In May, the district announced the event would be held on the same weekend as commencement, where prom would take place on Friday, July 10, followed by the graduation ceremony on Sunday, July 12.


Later, in June, the district postponed prom until Aug. 7 “due to current CDC and Iowa Department of Public Health guidelines and recommendations regarding social distancing.” However, the district indicated a decision regarding the event would be finalized by July 31.


The decision to cancel prom was “not made lightly,” the email read, and the district delayed the decision as long as possible, “hoping that conditions would change, allowing us to provide this special event for our students.”


“Unfortunately, that is not the case,” the email read. “We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this may cause but we remain committed to ensuring that the health and safety of our students is our number one priority.”


In recent weeks, the Colo-NESCO school board canceled the district’s prom, which was scheduled to take place Aug. 1, because of COVID-19.


The school board, along with Superintendent Jim Walker, agreed it was in the best interest of the district “not to host a prom this year as getting back to school on Aug. 24 should be the district’s priority.”