I recently read a story from the Ridgefield Park Patriot about a New Jersey high school that has specific transportation requirements in order for students to attend their prom.

Ridgefield Park High School does not permit private transportation to and from prom. Per Ridgefield Park Board of Education policy, in order for a student to attend the senior prom, he or she must agree to travel to and from the event by a school-vetted coach bus service that is paid for by the board.

The newspaper reports that this policy has been in place since at least the 1970s, with Ridgefield Park High School Principal James Donohue noting that’s how he attended his prom in 1977.

"All students meet at the high school,” Donohue told The Ridgefield Patriot. “They leave from a central location. They are a unified group of Ridgefield Park students going on a class trip that they will cherish for the rest of time. This enhances the prom experience, allowing parents, relatives and friends to share in the excitement. The prom starts when the buses arrive at the Brownstone. You do not have to wait for the students to arrive at different times. The parents know that we are responsible for their children from the time we leave until the time we get home. That is a comforting feeling for parents."

This is not the first time I’ve learned of transportation being provided for students’ prom. We at SBF hear about this occasionally. For example, several years ago, we published a news story about Minnesota-based school bus company Kottkes’ Bus Service transporting 16 Spring Lake Park (Minn.) High School students to their prom.

“Our son Andrew came up with the idea, and he approached Charles about it,” Sheila Peterson, wife of Kottkes’ President Charles Peterson, told SBF at the time. “Andrew and his friends thought it would be appropriate for their prom.”

The teenagers personalized the IC bus by writing their names on the windows, decorating the seats with their initials and filling the bus with streamers and balloons. The bus driver also engaged in the festivities by wearing a tuxedo-like suit.

What I found interesting about the Ridgefield Park Patriot story is that the board of education requires students to take the coach bus service if they want to attend prom. This is the first I’ve heard of such a policy, and I’m curious to know if it’s commonplace. I can certainly understand the benefits of it.   

Does your school district’s board of education have transportation requirements for students to attend prom, whether it’s via a coach service or a school bus? If so, what are the specifications of the requirements?

Until next time,

Kelly Roher
Managing Editor