April 30, 2020
Over the past several weeks, we have sent out multiple surveys to our 2020 Seniors to gather their input on having a non-traditional graduation ceremony versus a traditional ceremony. After analyzing the survey results, we have concluded that having both options for our seniors is the best of both worlds. With that being said, Kirby School District will conduct a non-traditional graduation ceremony on May 7, 2020 at 7:00 pm with a drive-thru senior escort. We will also operate a traditional graduation ceremony on July 23, 2020 at 7:00 pm. Location will be posted at a later date.
The Governor and Commissioner of Education have mandated that schools cannot have a traditional ceremony until after July 1. At that time, Governor Hutchinson, Commissioner Key, and the Department of Health will reevaluate the social distancing guidelines and make a decision as to when schools can have a traditional graduation ceremony. Therefore, we encourage all the Seniors of Class 2020 to participate in the drive thru senior escort. The future traditional graduation ceremony is uncertain but our non-traditional plan was approved by the ADE and Department of Health. We also understand that there are many life events and activities that will take place this summer and the option for a traditional graduation ceremony may not be the best option for everyone. We encourage all graduating seniors to participate in both.
Guidelines and Information for Drive-Thru Senior Escort:
Students will each be required to have their own vehicle, and the only passengers allowed in their enclosed vehicle will be their immediate family. Seniors will meet at the baseball/softball complex at 6:40 pm dressed in their cap and gown to line up for the drive thru senior escort. Posters and vehicle decorations are encouraged to commemorate the senior and showcase their Trojan pride. Once on campus everyone must stay in their vehicles and adhere to the social distancing guidelines.
There will be a start/stop designated area in the drive thru senior escort near the rear of the gym for vehicles to stop before the next vehicle moves to the designated graduation ceremony area. This area will be patrolled by an administrator to ensure safety and social distancing guidelines are being followed. At the graduation ceremony area, there will be a table with the diplomas, a photographer, superintendent, high school principal, and counselor. The student will get out of their vehicle in the designated area for reception of the diploma and pictures. The graduating senior will be the only one allowed out of the enclosed vehicle to accept their diploma. There will be no more than seven individuals at one time in the designated graduation ceremony area.
We will have a designated area on our main campus parking lot that will be reserved for other guests to park. This area will be patrolled by Pike County Sheriff Deputies to make sure all guests adhere to the social distancing guidelines and are staying in their vehicles. The non-traditional graduation ceremony will be facebook live streamed for our community members who choose not to attend the drive thru graduation ceremony.
Those working the graduation ceremony (photographer, superintendent, high school principal, and counselor will wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as gloves and N95 masks and will be screened using screening protocols prior to arrival. The PPE will be used when interacting with our students, faculty/staff, and immediate family members at all times. The administrators will wear gloves when handling and delivering diplomas. This will also be coordinated by the Pike County Sheriff’s Office.
We understand that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many aspects of our graduating seniors’ lives and taken away many enjoyments as well. We want to provide an opportunity for our seniors to celebrate their long awaited accomplishments.
Superintendent, Kirby School District