IPS class hosts third annual IPS prom dance


Max Stoneking, Co-Editor

The Interpersonal Skills (IPS) class put on their annual IPS prom on April 1.

Interpersonal Skills, a class offered at all four Olathe high schools, consists of half regular education students and half special education students.

The idea of the class is to promote more social interaction within the special education classroom.

Three years ago, the IPS class was unable to attend the Down Syndrome Guild Prom due to a capacity limit, so they brainstormed a way to still have a dance and planned the first IPS prom in five days.

“We had 50 students attend. This year we had over 150,” Catherine Wormus, IPS coordinator, said.

The dance has grown over three years into a popular event for the Olathe special needs community. Its purpose, according to Wormus, is to provide an alternative prom for those students who, if they attended the real prom, would be overwhelmed by the noise and lights or would have trouble due to mobility and communication concerns.

“It is a fun night where you don’t need to worry about having a date or what you are wearing,” Wormus said. “We have also heard from parents that they always wanted their child to attend a school dance, and we have provided that experience.”

In order to fund this year’s dance as well as the previous dances, Wormus was able to write a grant to the Olathe Public Schools Foundation.

“I received $700 to help buy the decorations, food and materials needed for the prom,” Wormus said.

In addition to the grant, parents donated desserts, and the Olathe Junior Service League helped serve food as well.

For the dance itself, a pasta dinner was provided to all attendees free of charge.

The dinner lasted an hour and a half, and the second hour and a half was dedicated to dancing. Brent Fales, paraprofessional, DJ’d the dance.