Coronavirus: Northwestern, Mechanicsburg announce graduation plans

Northwestern Schools. Bill Lackey/Staff
Northwestern Schools. Bill Lackey/Staff

With the stay-at-home order and school closure that’s been in effect for nearly two months, many people in the community are wondering about senior graduation ceremonies.

Clark and Champaign schools will release details and plans as they are finalized, but two more have announced their graduation date on their social media and websites.

Northwestern Local School District

Northwestern will have individual graduations on the original date of May 30.

Each senior will have a time to come to the school to walk across the stage, receive their diploma and take pictures. They can bring up to four guests.

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“The reason we have limited it to four guests is so that we can make sure that all of the seniors have an opportunity to walk across the stage,” said Superintendent Jesse Steiner. “We expect that this will take a long time and that is why we issued time slots for the students.”

Lifetouch will be there to take professional pictures, and seniors will also be video recorded as they walk across the stage and receive their diploma.

“We are going to record all of the speeches ahead of time so that the valedictorian, salutatorian, and all the other speeches will still be included in the graduation ceremony,” Steiner said. “All of these will be edited, put into place and released shortly after the graduation ceremony on the 30th.”

Guests who come into the school must wear a mask, and seniors can take their masks off when they walk across the stage.

“We will have staff members here and other helpers here to ensure that everybody knows where to go during graduation, and to make sure that we do not have groups of people congregating in the school or on the campus,” Steiner said.

Coronavirus: 2 more Clark, Champaign schools announce graduation plans

Mechanicsburg Exempted Village School District

Mechanicsburg started “single family in-person graduations” on Tuesday. They will also be held today, May 13, and tomorrow, May 14.

Graduates have a 15 minute appointment, and can bring up to six family members. Those who attend are encouraged to wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines.

“We will video different stages of the event for each student and put these clips together to create a virtual graduation ceremony that will show all students receiving their diploma. The video will be posted on our original graduation date, May 31, at 2 p.m.,” said High School Principal Paul Hershberger, Jr.

There will also be a professional photographer on site to take pictures, and the school will purchase one 8x10 of each graduate for the family.

“Our goal is to preserve our graduation traditions and make the 2020 graduation ceremony as memorable as possible,” Hershberger said.

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