Pawhuska 2020 graduation set for Friday

Robert Smith

As the Journal-Capital went to press this week, plans remained in place for Pawhuska High School to hold the graduation ceremony for the class of 2020 at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 26, at Ormond Beach Memorial Stadium.

Pawhuska Public Schools had an opportunity for something of a trial run of the stadium ceremony when it conducted the annual senior class baccalaureate service Sunday evening, June 21, at the stadium.

The primary plan for the graduation ceremony is for it to be outdoors. Seats for the graduating seniors are to be spaced 6 feet apart in an effort to maintain a safe distance. The school district has asked — but not mandated — that guests of graduates be limited in the stadium to immediate family members.

Immediate family members, for this purpose, will include parents, siblings and grandparents. There is not a specific number of immediate family member guests to which graduates are limited if the ceremony is outdoors at the stadium.

Assistant Superintendent Beverly Moore said family groups will be encouraged to sit together at Ormond Beach, but socially distanced from other family groups.

The school district has also announced that guests’ temperatures will be checked at entrances, and that the wearing of masks will be encouraged but not required. If you do not have a mask, there will probably be masks available at entrances, Moore said.

Additionally, if you are interested in viewing the graduation but would rather not be around groups of people, Pawhuska Public Schools will be live-streaming the ceremony on its Facebook page. That means friends or relatives of graduates who fall into categories of persons believed to be especially vulnerable to COVID-19 can see and hear the graduation without being there.

In the event of poor weather, the graduation is to be moved indoors to the Oren Terrill Field House. If that happens, Pawhuska Public Schools has said that each graduate would be limited to five tickets for guests. The five-guest limit only applies if the ceremony is held indoors.

Graduation for the class of 2020 was initially scheduled for Friday, May 15, at the stadium. Some area school districts responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by holding parades in lieu of traditional graduation ceremonies. Pawhuska chose to postpone the observance and try to have a basically traditional ceremony.