An over-crowded gym? No. A roaring band? No. Sweet farewell in-person sounds from the choir? No. Deserving graduates and proud parents? YES! Thursday, July 16, Amery High School’s Class of 2020 will find the tassel will be well worth the hassle.
COVID-19 took its toll on many things this spring. Graduation ceremonies are just one. While some might see this right of passage as small in the grand scheme of things, for students and those who love them, it is a very big thing.
Graduation at AHS will look quite different this year. Each student was allowed two spectator tickets. All spectators must have a ticket to enter the high school that evening.
Amery High School principal Josh Gould said he understands this has made things very difficult, especially for split families, but there are safety concerns to consider and he feels lucky the district was able to come up with this solution and pull it off.
Gould said he predicts there will be about 105 graduates participating in the ceremony. “Some kids opted not to take part in the ceremony. Some are out of town with their families. There have been a variety of reasons, including some that just wanted to be done some time ago.”
“When this all went down, I received emails from kids asking us to do whatever we could to make a ceremony possible, to be honest there were a handful of kids who asked if they could just be done,” said Gould.
Thursday, graduates will meet in the cafeteria at 6:15p.m. Doors for spectators will open at 6:40p.m., where they may enter through the front doors or either set of North doors. All doors will be propped open to avoid use of door handles and hand sanitizer will be readily available within the building.
Seniors have graduation rehearsal the evening prior to the ceremony. They will learn where they will be seated, so they can share the information with their loved ones who will be in attendance Thursday. This will help spectators know where they might want to choose to sit in the bleachers.
Throughout the ceremony, spectators must remain in the bleachers and cannot take photos from the gym floor. Seniors will though, be walking a lap around the gym so loved ones can snap pictures from the bleachers. A photographer will be capturing photos of the seniors as they cross the stage and those photos will be made available to all senior families.
After the ceremony, graduates and spectators should exit the school campus and cannot congregate.
For those who cannot be in attendance, the ceremony will be live streamed on the We Are Amery Facebook page, shared on the school Facebook page and afterwards posted on the school’s YouTube channel.
School officials ask that spectators and graduates use best practices to abide by social distancing guidelines while in the building and on the school campus. The gym will be at less than 30 percent capacity, so there will be plenty of available space. Graduates will be spaces and seated appropriately using the entire gym floor.
Masks are recommended, especially while entering and exiting the gym and the school building.