An Outdoor Graduation Plan With COVID Protocols For Midstate High Schools | Education
School districts in the sentinel region are considering COVID-19 safety protocols as they finalize plans for in-person graduation ceremonies for the class of 2021.
Each district interviewed scheduled an outdoor ceremony at their football stadium to allow for better ventilation and more room for social distancing. All those present should wear a face mask.
Instead of being grouped together, the seniors will be dispersed when they enter the stadium and take their places on the football field for the ceremony.
The participation of family members and guests will depend on the stadium capacity limits in effect at that time. The districts ask those invited to get away socially and to regroup in family groups in the stands.
The common thread between the districts is to keep each ceremony in keeping with tradition. The goal is for every senior to have that moment to cross the stage to receive a diploma. The difference may be the absence of handshakes, hugs, and other contact between graduates and those handing out degrees.
“We hope this will be as normal as possible,” said Joel Hain, principal of Boiling Springs High School. “We really felt bad about the Class of 2020.”
The COVID-19 outbreak in mid-March 2020 not only disrupted the final grading period, but also all the typical spring events that accompany the final year of high school.
The pandemic has forced districts to postpone graduation until later in the summer and then divide the 2020 class into separate groups to account for stadium capacity limits.
Since then, conditions have improved to the point that obtaining an in-person degree for the entire class of 2021 is a very real possibility for the start to mid-June.
“There was really some concern about it,” said Michael Black, principal of Carlisle High School. “We were in a very different place two months ago from what we are now.
“We have always had the hope of being able to send this group in the right direction,” he added. “We’re going to make it work like a normal graduation, but with COVID measures in place. We are not removing pieces of it. “
Very early on, the districts questioned made the choice to abandon the traditional indoor graduation venues in favor of holding the ceremony outdoors. Many have incorporated several rainy dates into their planning.
All decisions that are made put the health and safety of students and the community first, said Tracy Panzer, spokesperson for the Cumberland Valley School District.
In March, the South Middleton School District sent out a survey to parents of senior graduates to ask if they preferred multiple ceremonies involving smaller groups of students, which would allow parents and guests to attend the presentation. diplomas.
“We heard a resounding ‘no’,” Hain said. “It was more important that we have the kids together as a class. If that limits the number of tickets, so be it. “