BEAUFORT, S.C. (WSAV) – Traditional graduation ceremonies could begin as early as Friday in South Carolina, according to the state superintendent of education.
Molly Spearman said in a COVID-19 reopening task force meeting on Tuesday that she and Gov. Henry McMaster both feel graduation “is a special ceremony; they can be held.”
Spearman said whether a ceremony is held in person or virtually is up to individual school districts.
“And many high schools across the state are having in-person graduation ceremonies limiting the guests to two per senior or sometimes four, depending on the size of the high school graduating class,” she added.
In the Lowcountry, school districts plan to hold mostly virtual ceremonies. It’s a decision some have protested in recent days.
The six high schools in the Beaufort County School District (BCSD) are scheduling specific times for seniors to walk across their school’s stage with “small groups of 10 socially distanced students. Students can now bring four guests.
The walks will be recorded and edited along with speeches from fellow students and school leaders into a full video. Each will be posted to the BCSD YouTube channel on the day of each school’s previously scheduled graduation ceremonies:
- June 1 – Battery Creek High
- June 2 – Beaufort High
- June 3 – May River High
- June 4 – Whale Branch Early College High
- June 5 – Hilton Head Island High
- June 6 – Bluffton High
Each high school is also scheduling a celebratory drive-thru celebration where families can accompany graduates to their school’s campuses and be cheered by school staff and community dignitaries.
The Jasper County School District (JCSD) will hold a drive-thru celebration as well for Ridgeland-Hardeeville High School. It’s scheduled for May 27 starting at 6 p.m.
Graduates and their parents can drive to campus in one vehicle to view poster-size photos of themselves and their classmates in caps and gowns.
JCSD will continue with plans for a virtual ceremony airing on June 5 at 7 p.m. for Ridgeland-Hardeeville High School.
Three viewing options are available:
- Recorded link on the JCSD website (will air live 6/5/20 @ 7:00 PM)
- JCSD Facebook Page “Watch Party” Graduation Celebration
- City of Hardeeville and Jasper County Government channel 6/5/20 @ 7:00 PM
Speeches and graduation walks will be pre-recorded. For full details, visit here.
In Hampton County, Wade Hampton High School will be holding a senior parade on the afternoon of May 31. At last check, information for graduation on June 5 has yet to be released.
Some information from CNN Newsource