On Friday, May 3rd, Carroll County Public Schools hosted the 6th annual special needs prom at South Carroll High School. Students from all high schools, Gateway School, and Carroll Springs School came to enjoy the festivities.

About 110 Learning for Independence (LFI) students and more than 80 members of Best Buddies and Friend for Life Clubs attended. The County Commissioners, Board of Education members, and central office staff were also invited to come join in the festivities. Approximately 200 students were involved in the prom, from setting up to taking down.

LFI classes incorporated life lessons in planning the event, like making decisions on how much food to order, selecting the prom theme and the favors, and voting for the Prom King and Queen. They also got to practice and develop their social skills and interactions.

Julie Koontz, Special Education Secondary Instructional Consultant for Carroll County Public Schools, said that “The special needs prom is an opportunity for students to develop friendships with students from other schools and to see they have made in other programs… it’s also a way for students who aren’t able to participate in the prom at their home high school to have the same experience as their same-aged peers.”

This program for special needs students started at Liberty High School and was held in just a classroom at first, but it’s grown now to the point where it’s county-wide and a different school hosts it every year.

The prom was held from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. so all of the support, like transportation and medical help, could be available to attendees. The theme was “Under the Sea.” Needless to say, all attendees had loads of fun!