SCC High School outlines possible graduation commencement plans


The Downtown Square in Lake City will be the site of SCC High School’s Plan A for its commencement ceremony, set for May 31. [Tyler Anderson/The Graphic-Advocate]
By: 
Tyler Anderson
The Graphic-Advocate Editor

Since school closures were ordered statewide on March 15, students of the Class of 2020, alongside parents and school districts wondered how graduation commencement ceremonies would unfold.

Some schools have offered virtual ceremonies, which received heavy amounts of criticism, while others among and associated with the Class of 2020 are left pondering on what to do to balance social distancing with being able to walk across the stage and receive the high school diploma.

On May 5, South Central Calhoun High School Principal Randy Martin unveiled two plans for the commencement ceremony for the Class of 2020. Martin brought the plans up to the SCC Board of Directors in a special meeting held earlier that morning.

Martin had worked alongside the senior sponsors before revealing the commencement plans.

“I don’t want to lose that personal touch,” Martin said. “People aren’t really happy with virtual commencements. So we’ll do it as closely as we normally do, as best as we can.”

The final plan will be announced by the high school on May 27 and promptly communicated to the public.

Martin relayed two plans for the ceremony, which has been pushed back to May 31 from its original date of May 17 at the SCC High School Gymnasium in Lake City.

Plan A, which is set for 1:30 p.m. on May 31 would take place at the Downtown Square in Lake City. The square will be used as the venue for presenting diplomas, while seniors and their parents or guardians are the only parties invited to the ceremony.

The seniors and their parents or guardians’ vehicles will be parked around both the inside and outside of the square, and vehicles will be parked alphabetically by last name of the senior. Everyone is advised to stay inside of their vehicle until directed by school personnel to exit.

When the SCC staff member directs the senior to exit their vehicle, only the graduate may exit the vehicle. The senior will then proceed to the Bandstand, stopping on the marked spaces and moving up only when the person in front of them moves forward.

For the presentation of the diploma, the name of the graduate will be read over the PA system and they will proceed to the presentation area. There, a photographer will take a picture of the graduate receiving their diploma and the graduate will pick up a flower for their parents, before returning directly to their vehicle.

They will then wait inside of their vehicle until all seniors have been presented diplomas and dismissed by a staff member. When dismissed, the senior will back out of the parking space and then slowly proceed around the Downtown Square.

However, Plan A depends on loosening of social distancing and mass gathering restrictions set by the Iowa Department of Public Health and Gov. Kim Reynolds.

Therefore, SCC created Plan B. The contingency plan is for SCC staff, administration, board members and other volunteers to pair up and select specific seniors. They will then pick up the diplomas for the seniors in their group, and drive to the senior’s home to present the diploma to the graduate at their front door.

At their front door, parents may be able to take pictures of the presentation.

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