2019 SELPA Prom


Jeslyn Chou, Staff Writer

On May 23, Arcadia High School hosted the 2019 Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) Prom for juniors and seniors, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. This unique and very special prom, which was hosted by the West San Gabriel Valley Special Education Local Plan Area (WSGV SELPA) and the Arcadia Unified School District, was all about celebrating inclusion and was a very inspirational event. At last year’s SELPA prom, the theme was “Roaring Twenties,” and it was held at Monrovia High School. This year, the organization created a circus theme, as students were invited to “spend an afternoon under the big top!”

This annual event was held to offer students with disabilities an opportunity to have a prom experience during their traditional school day. 100 students from 14 districts around the San Gabriel Valley attended the momentous occasion and another 50 to 60 students, including superintendents and staff. The carnival-themed dance was sure to create a memorable experience for the students participating.

After stopping by the prom myself, I was able to see students everywhere were having fun dancing, eating, and just talking to their friends! When asked how she was enjoying prom, Sophie Oh responded that she was “having so much fun” and “enjoyed the music.” Mirroring her sentiments, seniors Andrew Briggs and Jason Liang loved the music and even danced along to their favorites. Andrew and Jason also enjoyed taking photos in the photo booth and posing with their friends! Overall, every student attending the dance had fun and was looking forward to this momentous occasion.   

The assistant superintendent of WSGV SELPA, Jacque Williams, was originally prompted to host the prom because her daughter had initially organized the event in high school. She was then inspired to continue coordinating the SELPA prom and has been for five years. William’s favorite part of hosting these dances is “watching students dance and dancing with them.” It’s clear that she is passionate about the event and overjoyed by the overwhelmingly positive reactions of the students.

Graphic courtesy of SCCPRE.CAT