By WECT Staff | May 8, 2020 at 12:33 PM EDT – Updated May 8 at 12:33 PM
BLADEN COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) – Bladen County Schools on Friday unveiled plans for its upcoming graduation ceremonies.
“School staff, in collaboration with the Bladen County Health Director and the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office, has developed a graduation that respects the dignity of the ceremony while allowing as much traditional participation for each family member as possible. While Bladen County Schools would prefer a traditional graduation, current restrictions only allow for a modified ceremony,” the school district stated in a news release.
Unless state restrictions are lifted that allow for a traditional graduation ceremony, the following plan will remain in effect.
On June 1 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., the graduation ceremony will be held simultaneously at East and West Bladen high schools.
Each graduate will participate in an individual/personalized ceremony with the school administration and family members, to be held in the media center. Whole class graduation will not take place. Only one student at a time and their family members will participate in the graduation ceremony.
Graduates will be allowed to bring up to four family members (infants are included in the count) to celebrate their special day. Each graduate will be assigned a designated time to report to the school faculty parking lot. The school will notify graduates in advance of their designated time to report.
The following steps outline the guidelines for each graduate and their family:
- Upon arrival at the faculty parking lot, a School Resource Officer (SRO) will direct vehicles to designated parking.
- Special accommodations/handicap parking needs should be communicated to the SRO upon entering the parking lot.
- Graduate and family members are to remain in the car until directed to exit the car by the SRO and move to the next appropriate area.
- The graduate should arrive dressed in graduation regalia.
- Per guidelines, each graduate and family member (other than children under the age of 2) will be required to wear a mask/face covering during the entire ceremony.
Step 3: Screenings prior to entering the building
- Graduate and family members will have their thermal temperature taken by a health professional.
- Once cleared, entry into the building will be allowed.
- Per CDC guidelines, anyone experiencing COVID-like symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and/or new loss of taste or smell, it is recommended to remain at home.
- The graduate and family members will be directed to move to an inside waiting area.
- School faculty will review the graduate’s regalia to ensure it is properly worn.
- The graduate will pick up copies of the graduation program placed on a table.
- Graduate and family members will proceed to the ceremony staging area.
- Graduate and family members will be directed from the ceremony staging area to the media center graduation area; the maximum room attendance will not exceed 10 persons.
- School administration and district/board personnel will address the graduate and present diploma; no physical contact will take place between the graduate and school staff.
Step 6: Diploma/document pick up area
- Graduate and family members will move from the media center to the double doors in the front lobby.
- Graduation documents and any other final documents will be placed on a table for the graduate to pick up upon exiting.
- Graduate and family will return to their car and immediately exit the campus.
General safety protocols: All Bladen County School personnel, SROs, and any others involved in the graduation ceremony will also adhere to the same safety protocols as graduates and their families.
- Personnel that are part of the ceremony (whether inside or outside) will adhere to temperature checks.
- Sanitizer will be available at the various waiting areas.
- Doors will be propped open to eliminate touching doorknobs and handles.
- Chairs used in the graduation ceremony area will be sanitized and rotated between each ceremony.
- Social distancing guidelines will be followed at all times.
- Mask/face covering must be worn at all times.
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