Area high schools preparing for graduation
(Note: The following corrects the date and time for the Royal Valley graduation from the April 21 edition.)
Last year, Jackson County’s high schools were forced to postpone their graduation ceremonies due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year, high school seniors will collect their diplomas during commencement exercises scheduled in mid-May, but each of the area’s schools will be conducting their graduations differently.
Some school districts will be requiring graduates, school officials, family members and friends to wear masks and practice social distancing during the ceremony, and some will limit the number of people who can attend the ceremony in person. For those who can’t be there to watch in person, most area schools will offer a livestreaming option.
Holton High School’s commencement ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 15, according to Principal Rod Wittmer. The location of the ceremony, Wittmer said, will depend on the weather — graduation is currently slated to be held at the HHS football field, but in case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be moved into the varsity gym.
If the ceremony is held at the football field as planned, there will be no attendance limitations, but if it is moved into the gym, seating will be at 50 percent of capacity and 10 tickets will be given to each graduate to distribute, Wittmer said. Masks and temperature checks will be required for admittance, he added.
The ceremony will also be broadcast over the school district’s Facebook page for those who cannot attend in person, Wittmer said.
At Jackson Heights High School, graduation will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 16 in the JHHS gym. Principal Darren Shupe said that there will be no limits on attendance and masks will be optional.
The JHHS commencement ceremony will also be broadcast live by rainbowtel.net, Shupe said.
Tickets will be required to attend Royal Valley High School’s commencement, scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday, May 15 in the RVHS gym, it was reported. Attendance will be limited to 50 percent of seating capacity, and the ceremony will be livestreamed on the school’s YouTube page for those who cannot attend in person.
“Seniors made requests for the number of tickets that they’d like, and we have so far been able to meet those requests and stay under 50 percent of capacity,” RVHS Principal Joel Hesed said.
All present will be required to wear masks while in the RVHS gym, the sole exception being graduating students, who will be spaced out a minimum of six feet and will walk a minimum of six feet apart.
At Wetmore High School, where graduation ceremonies will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 15, seating will be limited to invited guests, according to Principal Rick Schnacker, who noted each graduate would receive 15 tickets to distribute to family and friends.
“At this time, it is not open to the public,” Schnacker said, noting that masks are “highly recommended” and participants will be socially distanced. The graduation ceremony will be livestreamed on the school’s Facebook page.
Atchison County Community High School’s Class of 2021 will hold its commencement exercises at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 16 in the ACCHS gym, according to Principal Deanna Scherer. There will be no limits on seating or tickets required for admission, but masks will be required of all in attendance and families are asked to sit together.