Area schools make plans for graduation

By Sheryl Stanley
While area students finish their online studies, Cass County school officials are starting to plan how best to handle graduation, commencement and other traditional spring activities which have been pushed into the summer months by the Covid-19 pandemic.

All districts expressed a commitment to having graduation or commencement ceremonies at least and some hope a prom of some sort can be arranged in addition to other activities such as baccalaureate. However, everyone noted health concerns and social distancing guidelines
may have an impact on their plans.

Harrisonville has settled on the dates of June 19 for prom and June 26 for graduation. Harrisonville High School Principal Mark Wiegers said prom was originally going to be held in a local event space, but they were booked all through the summer, so they were tasked with finding an alternate location as well as a date.

Prom will now be held from 7 to 10 p.m. June 19 at the high school.
Graduation will be held at 7 p.m. the following Friday, June 26 at Memorial
Stadium. In case of rain, it will move indoors at the high school.

Coy Dalton, principal of Archie High School, said, “We have canceled our prom and senior trip. Graduation has been scheduled for 2 p.m. July 12. A
location has not been decided upon at this time. However, we will make any
ccommodations necessary, pending Covid-19 restrictions.”

Dalton also said the local ministerial alliance will decide soon whether to hold Baccalaureate services.

In Drexel, graduation will be held at 2 p.m. June 14 in William D. Gordon
Gymnasium at the school, according to Kara Smith, business manager and secretary to the board of education. Prom has also been scheduled for 7 to 11 p.m. June 12 at a location still to be determined.

School officials for Midway are watching developments closely as they plan for graduation.

Superintendent Gordon Myers said, “We have tentatively set Sunday, July 12 as a graduation date, but the time, location and format are undecided at this
time. The board and administration are committed to holding a ceremony, but external conditions will dictate our ability to do that.”

He added, “Schools around the state are opting for virtual and drive-by graduations. We’re not going to do that, except as a last resort.”

Ray-Pec schools cancelled prom activities earlier but have now announced commencement will be at 8 p.m. July 17, in Panther Stadium. The back-up date will be July 18.

Sherwood Superintendent Steve Ritter said his district has now decided to postpone graduation from its original May 15 date and will be having the ceremony either June 27 or July 25. Additional details on location and time are expected to be announced soon.

In Adrian, the high school graduation is now set for 7 p.m. June 19 at the Athletic Complex. In case of bad weather, it will be June 20.


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