KENTWOOD, Mich. (WOOD) — Students from the Michigan Great Lakes Virtual Academy got to experience an event they normally they wouldn’t Friday: prom.

It’s the third prom the school has held since the pandemic. Last weekend, they had one in Shelby Township on the east side of the state, while Friday’s was held in Viewpond Banquet Hall Kentwood.

“We want to give them that real high school experience of prom,” said Miranda Sackman, MGLVA special education transition coordinator.

The Michigan Great Lakes Virtual Academy held a prom in Kentwood Friday. (May 19, 2023)
The Michigan Great Lakes Virtual Academy held a prom in Kentwood Friday. (May 19, 2023)

Some may think an event like this would be awkward, a prom with students who all attend MGLVA, dressing up and coming together for the first time. Even though the night started out on the quieter side, by the end friendships were made and the dance floor was full.

“There was a lot of awkward silence at first,” said Sackman. “It’s just been really cool to get to see them. A lot of them have never met other kids from our school, so they got to hangout, interact with each other and dance, and have a fancy evening that they felt special.”

Students were also fond of the idea.

“I think it’s pretty cool that we get to at least experience something being online,” said Empriss Massey, a junior at MGLVA. “I am meeting a lot of people for the first time because you don’t really get to talk to people outside of classes as you go in, you learn, and then you end the session. There’s no real talk-time.”

MGLVA is a full-time public school for grades K-12. Sackman said they have students from every county in Michigan. In total, they serve a little over 3,000 students. Around 40 showed up to Friday’s prom.

“Everybody was so kind to everybody else,” said Sackman. “It was the coolest thing. Nobody cared what you were wearing, nobody cared if you were a basic dancer, they were just all like super sweet to each other. It was actually pretty cool.”