Area Schools Face a Balancing Act: Holding Graduation Ceremonies While Keeping Everyone Safe
May 20, 2020 | View PDF
The school year was derailed as schools had to cope with the pandemic and its ensuing closures. As the 2019-2020 academic year concludes, schools are trying to find a balance between providing graduates with some sort of normalcy by affording them a ceremony while still keeping people reasonably safe. Some area high schools have already held their graduation ceremonies while others have decided to postpone or modify them in other ways.
Sidney High School administration have worked with official guidelines and placed limitations on this class graduation. The ceremony will be held on Sunday, May 24 at Swanson Field. Graduates will be allowed four immediate family members present and they will not be able to enter the field or leave their seats to take photos or video and are encouraged to practice social distancing at all times.
Graduates at the Savage School held their graduation ceremony on Saturday, May 16 on the football field and it allowed for seats to be widely dispersed. “Families were seated in ‘pods’ on the field and then everyone else was six feet apart behind and some people remained in their vehicles parked around our track. The weather was glorious for the event and a ton of people just sat in the grass or brought their own lawn chairs. The order of events remained the same, they (graduates) even did their slideshows as usual even though we realize that most people couldn’t see it but the slideshows were posted to Facebook for everyone to watch later at their leisure,” said Savage School teacher Cassandra Moos.
Culbertson High’s graduation was also held on Saturday, May 16. “It was held in the gym by invitation only. Each graduate was limited to the number of people they could invite and for the rest of the public we had it available on Facebook Live,” said Culbertson School teacher Janelle Ator.
Fairview graduating seniors chose to delay their graduation ceremony until July 19 with the hope of being able to have a typical ceremony. “We had several virtual meetings with both the senior class and their parents and in those discussions every student and parent were given the chance to voice their opinion and concerns. In the first meeting a parent suggested that it take place during Fairview’s Old Timers Festival. Some of the students took that idea and ran with it. When the plans were made we went back to the students and parents via a virtual meeting and no one objected with the idea of having it on that date,” said Fairview School counselor Tonya Garsjo.
For any school not mentioned or for up-to-date schedule and restriction specifics, please reach out to school administration as the situation is fluid and prone to further developments.