It's prom season for the local high schools and both Mountain Pointe and Desert Vista offer an additional event for special education students.

The Life Skills Prom will take place at Desert Vista this Saturday, April 30, and Mountain Pointe hosted its "Happiest Prom on Earth" in early March.

"They have school dances throughout the year, little events that take place during the day, but some of the students have never attended extracurricular dance," said Jamaica Drowne, special education teacher at Mountain Pointe. "After the first prom the kids had it was such a success that we wanted to continue the tradition."

About 80 Mountain Pointe students and their friends and families attended the dance this year. A few came as dates but Drowne said a goal of the Life Skills program is to get the students to interact with their peers and people they don't know as well.

"The whole purpose is to make new friends," she said. "Everyone comes out and has a great time."

The Life Skills Prom for Desert Vista students is being hosted by the Sheraton Phoenix Airport Hotel in Tempe. One teacher expects more than 30 attendees and the event will feature a dinner, music and dancing.

"It's basically just a good time for those who don't get to go to the regular prom," said Veronica Marquez, special education teacher at Desert Vista. "They absolutely love the experience. They love dressing up, the sit-down dinner with all their friends and having a photographer there."

Both events are in the third year and both schools expect the proms to continue. Marquez said it is an event for both students and staff.

"The teachers want to share the experience with the students," she said. "We have a different theme every year and we try to make it more elegant for them."

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