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Schools set dates for virtual graduations

In-person ceremonies scheduled for later
Schools set dates for virtual graduations
Schools set dates for virtual graduations
Mary Simcoe, receptionist at Lanesville Junior-Senior High School, gives a senior a packet that contains, among other things, a cap and gown for graduation. Photo by Kaitlyn Clay
Kaitlyn Clay, Staff Writer, [email protected]

Harrison County schools are having to get a bit creative with how to host their graduation ceremonies for the class of 2020. What normally is a day of celebration with the community and extended families will look much different this year as schools are attempting virtual graduations and socially distanced events.

All schools will host virtual graduations, with hopes of being able to hold  in-person ceremonies at later dates once restrictions are lifted.

Steve Morris, superintendent of Lanesville Community School Corp. and high school principal, said he and his staff are planning to pre-record a graduation ceremony to be streamed by families and the community on Friday, May 29, at 7 p.m., the original date and time of the scheduled graduation ceremony. In the meantime, Lanesville is also planning an in-person ceremony to take place Saturday, Aug. 8, at 4 p.m.

Instead of its live graduation on Sunday, May 24, Dr. Lance Richards, superintendent of North Harrison Community School Corp., said they will stream a virtual graduation that day at 2 p.m. The North Harrison in-person graduation ceremony will be Saturday, July 11, at 10 a.m.

“We had to factor in that many kids may not be able to participate the farther we get away from the end of the school year,” Richards said. “On top of everything else, the health department has asked that we consider an outdoor event, and a morning event would be much cooler in temperature in July for all participants. We will determine our course of action closer to that time. We may still go inside if we determine that is the best for everyone.”

Graduations for the South Harrison Community School Corp. will take place on Sunday, June 7, as planned, but they will be virtual events, streamed for South Central Junior-Senior High School at 1:30 p.m. followed by Corydon Central High School’s at 4.

However, like the other school boards, South Harrison board members agreed a virtual graduation was not enough and were adamant to have an in-person ceremony for the students. The board ultimately decided to host the in-person ceremony for South Central on Friday, July 10, at 7 p.m. at South Harrison Park near the school and for Corydon Central on Saturday, July 11, at 7 p.m. at the Corydon Central football field. Seating will be provided for the graduates on the field with seating in the bleachers for family. The school asks that family members bring their own lawn seating and disperse in accordance with social-distancing guidelines in areas around the football field.

“Social distancing would still need to be in place during these graduations,” said Dr. Mark Eastridge, superintendent of South Harrison Community School Corp. “I don’t want to be the large gathering that spreads the virus like wildfire throughout the county, so we will have to make sure we are careful in every decision we make regarding this.”

Crawford County High School is also handling graduation in similar fashions as Harrison County schools.

On Friday, May 22, at 7 p.m., Crawford County High School will stream a virtual graduation ceremony in place of its regular graduation. Then, on Friday, July 31, at 7 p.m., the school will host a traditional, in-person ceremony.