Suburban high school plans to hold in-person prom, graduation

A suburban high school announced plans for a full Junior and Senior Prom at the school's campus, along with a full graduation ceremony that will be held the next day. 

Carmel Catholic High School in Mundelein said that about 200 juniors will attend their prom and then shortly afterward the same day, about 200 seniors will have their prom. Students will receive a rapid COVID-19 test before being allowed into the festivities. 

The President of Carmel Catholic High School, Brad Bonham, says both proms will last for an hour and a half. 

"When they get through the door, obviously, they'll have their Covid test completed and done. They'll know they'll be negative in advance. And then they'll show a symptom map, and it'll show that it's clear that they've self-reported no symptoms. And then they'll have their temperature taken," Bonham said.

His daughter, Emily Bonham, is a senior at the school. 

"I'm so beyond thrilled," Emily said.

While students will be required to wear masks at all times at prom, they will be able to dance, sing and eat.

"Carmel does a really good job keeping everyone Covid safe," said Junior, Andrew Kowalski.

The Lake County Health Department says it provides schools with public health recommendations and it is ultimately the responsibility of school administration to follow the current guidelines of the state. 

"When you think about adversity and resiliency, everybody has struggled, but our youth more than anything really deserves this," said Bonham.

Prom is set to take place on Thursday, May 27, with Senior Graduation set to take place the next day on Friday, May 28.


The high school says that because of timing, seniors who take the rapid test at prom the night before will be eligible to participate in graduation the next day.

The high school has partnered with the Lake County Health Department, which has allowed the school to have access to daily rapid COVID-19 testing. Test results are received in 15 minutes, the school says. 

The school said because of the partnership with the health department, it has been able to operate as close to normal as possible since August. 

CORRECTION: Originally, it was conveyed that over 1,000 students would be attending the event - however, the number was since corrected by a PR person with the school.