Anderson School District One announces live graduation services June 5

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Anderson School District One announced Thursday that the District plans to host a live, face-to-face graduation at 10:00 am Friday, June 5 at each of the District’s three high school football stadiums. If necessary, the rain date will be Saturday, June 6, at 10:00 am.
Superintendent Robbie Binnicker said, “While the current situation does not allow us to celebrate seniors with our traditional graduation ceremony, we have spent many weeks studying and reviewing all options and countless scenarios for graduation to ensure our seniors are recognized in a very special way. With feedback from seniors and parents, we believe we have created the best possible plan to meet the health and safety needs of our graduates, guests and employees. This is our top priority.”
The District sent a survey to all seniors allowing them to provide feedback on their graduation preferences. The vast majority of students voted to hold graduation as close to the original graduation date as possible. In addition, a number of students could not participate in graduation later in the summer due to military, job, or college obligations.
Binnicker said based on survey results and after many conversations with senior parents and high school administrators, several graduation priorities became clear:
Seniors overwhelmingly requested a live graduation.
It was important to seniors to walk across the stage to receive their diplomas. The schools have made arrangements so that each senior can walk across the stage to be recognized and have his/her picture taken.
Seniors requested to have a live ceremony instead of having a virtual graduation even if it required limiting guests.
The South Carolina State Department of Education, in consultation with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), have set guidelines that limit all graduations to two guests per graduate.
Binnicker said, “We are aware that limiting the number of tickets will create some issues for graduates and families. We deeply regret the necessity to limit the number of guests; however, it is imperative that we maintain the health and safety of all graduates, their guests and our employees. Waiting until later in the summer was not an option as a number of our graduates would not be able to participate.”
In order for all family and friends to be a part of the ceremony, each event will be streamed live on FaceBook. In addition, each high school will hold a Senior Parade immediately following the ceremony where additional family members and friends can join the celebration and honor the graduates. Appropriate social distancing should be observed along the parade route.
“The District will make every effort to provide a safe environment and abide by all health and safety guidelines,” Binnicker said. “Based on CDC and DHEC guidance, guests are encouraged to wear masks during the ceremony.” Masks will be provided for each graduate and guest.
Each high school will provide detailed instructions for each graduate and family in the near future.