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In-person graduation slated for July 25 in Tea

The Tea Area class of 2020 will participate in an outdoor, in-person graduation ceremony July 25.

High school principal Collin Knudson spoke with the school board at the board’s July 13 meeting. He surveyed the senior parents and the graduates about having an in-person commencement. The results showed a roughly 60-40 in favor of having commencement from both groups.

The board approved moving forward with an outdoor ceremony at the football field at 10 a.m. July 25. The graduates will sit spaced out in the home bleachers. The stage will be on the track.

Families are asked to stay within their family groups and spread out on the football field and visitors bleachers. Families can bring their own chairs or blankets for the football field or may stand.

The program would consist of Knudson speaking, class president Caden Hank speaking, and a recorded song for the traditional flower song where students will remain in their seats and are suggested to send a message of love through their phones. The graduates will then walk across the stage and pick up flowers for their family and return to their seats before recessing out. They are working on streaming the ceremony on the district’s YouTube channel.

Knudson said they will not have bathroom facilities available unless there is an emergency. Masks will be recommended.

Superintendent Jennifer Lowery said they will not hand out paper programs. They will be available digitally.

The district held a virtual ceremony for the class of 2020 on the original graduation date May 16.

The in-person ceremony is optional. Knudson will survey the students to find out who intends to come so they can get a seating chart. They will not have a rehearsal.

Lowery noted the students already have their signed diploma and printed program. Graduates are asked to wear their caps and gowns but are not being asked to dress up underneath their gowns.


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