Clark, Champaign schools to host 2021 graduation ceremonies outside

Clark and Champaign County schools will host their 2021 graduation ceremonies outside. Here, a family takes pictures of their Springfield High School graduate as she receives her diploma in an individual ceremony in 2020. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Caption
Clark and Champaign County schools will host their 2021 graduation ceremonies outside. Here, a family takes pictures of their Springfield High School graduate as she receives her diploma in an individual ceremony in 2020. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Many schools in Clark and Champaign Counties are working to plan how they will hold their graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2021 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Schools are planning for graduation dates in May or June, however some are still working on specific details regarding the ceremony.

The Springfield City School District will host three outside graduation ceremonies on May 29 in the high school stadium, according to Superintendent Bob Hill.

“While we must follow safety precautions due to the ongoing global pandemic, it is our plan to accommodate the desire of our students to the extent possible,” Hill said. “In an effort to hold an outdoor ceremony and allow for social distancing guidelines, appropriate cleaning standards and to limit the number of guests, Springfield High School will divide the graduates into three groups, according to their last name, with three separate ceremonies at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.”

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Urbana City Schools will also host an outside graduation ceremony on May 29 with safety protocols.

“We traditionally have the ceremony on our football field, so the guidance suggesting it to be outside is not an issue for us,” said Superintendent Charles Thiel.

Graduates will be limited to a yet to be determined number of guests, masking, social distancing and hand hygiene will be a part of their plan, Thiel said. Students will be spaced apart and the guest seating will also be designated with social distancing.

Most schools will host their graduation ceremony outside to allow for more space and guests.

In addition to Springfield and Urbana, other schools hosting their ceremonies in the high school stadiums include Clark-Shawnee, Greenon, Northeastern High School, Northwestern, Southeastern, Tecumseh and Triad. Kenton Ridge High School will host their ceremony at Wittenberg University at the HPER center.

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All schools will be following health and safety protocols, such as masks, social distancing and capacity standards. For example, Northeastern High School will have their ceremony outside, but will only allow students to have six guests each, according to Principal Todd Justice. If it rains, Justice said they will move inside to the main gym and students will only be allowed to have two guests.

The Springfield News-Sun has reached out to all districts in Clark and Champaign counties about their graduation plans and will provide more updates as they become available.


Clark and Champaign schools: Graduation dates, times and locations

Clark-Shawnee - May 28, 7 p.m. at the Dave Long Memorial Football Stadium.

Global Impact STEM Academy - June 1, 6 p.m. in Veterans Park.

Greenon - May 7, 6 p.m. at the stadium.

Graham - May 27, time and location to be determined.

Kenton Ridge - May 25, 7 p.m. at Wittenberg University in the HPER center.

Mechanicsburg - June 6 at 2 p.m., outside location to be determined.

Northeastern - May 26, 7 p.m. at the stadium.

Northwestern - May 28, 7 p.m. at Taylor Field.

Southeastern - May 29 at the football field, time to be determined.

Springfield - May 29, 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m. at the stadium.

Tecumseh - June 4, 7:30 p.m. at the Spitzer Stadium.

Triad - June 6, 2 p.m. at the football stadium.

Urbana - May 29, 7:30 p.m. at the football field.