Officials in the East Sac County Community School District have tentatively scheduled a graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020 on the last Sunday in July. High School Principal Kevin Litterer says it’s the farthest date on the calendar that avoids annual events in the area, like county fairs.
“Plus, the time you hit August, kids are thinking more about college,” Litterer says. “If you have any student going into play college sports, college activities — they’re getting started right away that first week of August, so that’s really how we came up with July 26th.”
Litterer says there may be restrictions on how many people may attend, to ensure social distancing. The football stadium is one option.
“You only get to graduate from high school one time and so we want to try to do what we can to make it a special moment,” he says. “We don’t want it to be the time they lost everything…How do we make is something they can remember?”
Algona Schools Superintendent Joe Carter says prom for juniors and seniors in his district has been rescheduled for June 20th and graduation has been postponed until June 28th.
“We don’t know exactly what this will look like in June,” he says “but those are the dates we’ve set at this time.”
Some schools are scheduling parades, with graduates safely separated in their vehicles. Others are planning virtual ceremonies. Red Oak’s school board has set May 17th as the date for graduation in their district. Superintendent Tom Messinger says he and the high school principal have been directed to set up the most traditional ceremony that’s possible under state guidelines for social distancing.
“So we do not know exactly what it’s going to look like yet because between now and May 17th,” Messinger says. “Some of those guidelines and recommendations may change as we move forward in the current situation.”
Governor Reynolds has discouraged public gatherings of more than 10 people.
(By Chantelle Grove, KCIM, Carroll; Brian Wilson, KLGA, Algona; Mike Peterson, KMA, Shenandoah and Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson)