School District Five provides important details regarding 2020 graduation ceremonies
Lexington-Richland School District Five will hold in-person, outdoor graduation ceremonies June 2 - June 5, implementing social distancing and other health measures for graduates and their guests. The decision to have in-person commencement ceremonies came after the district surveyed seniors and their parents to gain input on honoring the Class of 2020 while maintaining federal and state social distancing guidelines.
Below are important details for seniors and their guests choosing to participate in 2020 graduation ceremonies. Additional details, including a virtual graduation practice video for seniors and parking maps, are forthcoming.
GRADUATION DATES REMINDER
Ceremonies in School District Five will follow the originally planned order but have new dates/times:
- Spring Hill High: 9 a.m. on Tuesday, June 2 at Chapin High School Stadium
- Weather make-up time for SHHS is 7:30 p.m. on June 2
- Chapin High: 9 a.m. on Wednesday, June 3 at Chapin High School Stadium
- Weather make-up time for CHS is 7:30 p.m. on June 3
- Dutch Fork High: 9 a.m. on Thursday, June 4 at Dutch Fork High School Stadium
- Weather make-up time for DFHS is 7:30 p.m. on June 4
- Irmo High: 9 a.m. on Friday, June 5 at Irmo High School Stadium
- Weather make-up time for IHS is 7:30 p.m. on June 5
In case of inclement weather, the District will send a phone blast to parents to alert families of ceremony make-up times or dates. Additional dates, including a Saturday, June 6 make-up date, can be utilized if needed.
GRADUATE GUEST ADMISSION PROCESS
Graduates will be allowed four guests, and guests must arrive and enter the ceremony site with their graduate. Tickets will not be issued (i.e. Graduates are the “ticket” for guest admission into the ceremony facility). There is no general admission seating.
GRADUATE/GUEST ARRIVAL & SEATING
Arrival will begin at 7:45 a.m. for graduates and their guests. Graduate arrival times are as follows:
- 7:45am-8:00am Last Names A-F
- 8:00am- 8:15am Last Names G-L
- 8:15am-8:30am Last Names M-R
- 8:30am-8:45am Last Names S-Z
Graduate Seating: Graduates will check in at the gate,and will be seated on the field in their assigned seats upon arrival. To observe social distancing guidelines, graduates will not procession into our ceremony this year. Graduation diploma covers will be placed in each graduate’s chair, rather than being passed to the graduate on stage during the ceremony.
Guest seating: Guests will be seated in sections, both in the stands and/or in overflow seating on and around the field.
Guest seats and graduate seats will have proper spacing to allow for social distancing, and event staff and safety officials will assist in encouraging safety guidelines. We ask that all graduates and guests be seated by 8:45 a.m.
SAFETY GUIDELINES & PARKING
Safety is a top priority in School District Five. Please review the following safety guidelines, which will be in place at graduation ceremonies:
- Security: Metal detectors will be used, law enforcement and safety officials will be present, and the district’s clear bag requirement will be enforced. Noisemakers are prohibited.No re-entry allowed.
- Graduate masks: Each graduate will receive a custom mask with the school logo upon arrival and may opt to wear a mask to the site before receiving a mask for the ceremony.
- Guest masks: Per guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control, we strongly encourage all guests to wear masks during graduation ceremonies. Guest masks will not be provided by the district.
- Sanitation stations: Hand sanitizing stations will be positioned throughout the ceremony site for guests and graduates.
- Graduate seating: Graduate seating will be placed on the field per social distancing guidelines.
- Guest seating: Guest seating has been sectioned off to encourage social distancing.
- Dismissal: Guests will be dismissed by section to avoid crowding. We ask that all guests remain seated until they are dismissed (per section) by safety officials.
- Restrooms: A limited number of restrooms will be accessible during graduation ceremonies.
- Refreshments: Water will be provided for graduates, but water will not be provided for guests and concessions will not open for graduation ceremonies. Guests are permitted to bring sealed bottles of water, but coolers will not be allowed.
- Parking: Information on graduate/guest parking and handicap parking, including site maps, will be posted on the district website at www.lexrich5.org/graduation.
- Safety announcements: Safety guidelines and reminders will be announced throughout graduation ceremonies.
- Emergency procedures: In the case of an emergency, guests are asked to seek help from safety officials and/or law enforcement officials who will be located throughout the site. Medical staff will be present at graduation ceremonies.
GRADUATE DRESS CODE
Graduation is an important event, and professional attire will be required while adjusting for outdoor temperatures. Due to our outdoor graduation ceremonies this year, dress code will be as follows:
- Graduation robes and caps will be worn during the ceremony. Graduates will not be permitted to wear decorations or any other adornment on their graduation caps.
- Due to football field surfacing, high heels are strongly discouraged. Wedged-heel shoes, wide-heel shoes, and flat dress shoes are encouraged.
- Long-sleeved or short-sleeved dress shirts, dresses and long pants are permissible.
- Students will not be permitted to wear sunglasses during the graduation ceremony.
GRADUATION PROGRAM & DIPLOMA PICK-UP
To minimize contact, programs will not be distributed at graduation ceremonies in School District Five. Students will pick up copies of the school’s graduation program when they pick-up their high school diplomas.
Parents or students may come to the front office of their high school at the dates and times below to pick up diplomas:
- June 9 & June 11, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
- June 15 & 17, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
- Any diploma not picked up by June 22 will be mailed on June 23.
Due to health and safety guidelines from federal and state officials, 2020 graduation ceremonies will have the following changes:
- There will be no graduate procession into the graduation ceremony facility, rather graduates will be seated on the field upon arrival. Guests must arrive and enter the site with their graduates and will be seated in bleachers or in additional seating provided throughout the site.
- Student diploma covers will be placed in their assigned seats along with name cards that will be read at graduation.
- There will be no live performances (i.e. choral selections). Recordings of the National Anthem and other selections will be played.
- Students will not shake the hands of school or district officials while walking across the stage. They will walk across the stage and take a photo, holding their diploma covers. School officials will not be photographed with graduates at our ceremonies this year to minimize contact and to observe social distancing guidelines.
The order of our 2020 graduation program is as follows:
- Welcome & Opening Remarks (Student)
- National Anthem & Pledge of Allegiance
- Congratulations to the Class of 2020 (Principal)
- Awarding of Diplomas (Superintendent)
- Presentation of Graduates (Class of 2020)
- Dismissal & Recessional (Principal)
Graduation is a major milestone for our students and our parents, and School District Five is committed to making these ceremonies safe, celebratory events that honor all the steps students have taken to get to this point in their lives.
This is a voluntary event for seniors and their guests. For questions about graduation, contact your school or the district office: www.lexrich5.org/D5staffdirectory. We look forward to celebrating the Class of 2020 at our upcoming graduation ceremonies in June.