GREENSBURG — On June 20, the 81 graduating seniors at North Decatur High School and the 79 grads from South Decatur High School will mount their respective gymnasium stages to accept their diplomas and turn their tassels.
The occasion will be much the same as in years past, but this year the conditions will be quite different.
“At both schools, we’ll have an in-person graduation and each grad will be allowed to bring two people,” said Superintendent of Decatur County Schools Dr. Jarrod Burns.
Burns said that he has spent a good deal of time on the phone recently making sure everything was done with the best safety of his grads in mind.
“At North, at 11 a.m., we’ll have a grand total of 243 people socially distanced in accordance with the governors rule, and seven people to run the ceremony between streaming it and handing out the diplomas,” he said. “So that lets us have exactly 250 people in that room, which is what the governor’s plan requires, so we’re good.”
South will host its graduation program be at 3 p.m. the same day.
“The same concept will be in both places, and, of course, we’ll be in compliance with Stage 4 of the Governor’s Back-on-Track plan,” Burns said.
He added that if Indiana does not reach Stage 4 of the plan by June 20 the event will be something like a “drive-in” graduation.
“We’ll have everything in the parking lot with spaces clearly marked and a loud speaker system set up. As the student’s names are read, they’ll get out of their cars, come up to receive their diploma, and then get back in their cars,” he said.
Burns added that details for the alternative plan are still being decided.
“Whatever condition the state is in on June 20th will determine which plan we use. That date will be kept sacred, even though the events of that day [may] change,” he said. “We would have loved to have had a couple dates to reserve so we could plan on being all together, but we just don’t know what’s going to happen in the world right now.”
Burns said that a July graduation date was discussed, but regardless of the date, nothing will be safe for anyone until a vaccine is found.
“We had to take a lot of things into account, and this is just the best for everyone all things considered,” he said.
As previously reported in the Daily News, Greensburg Community High School’s commencement ceremonies will be at 9 a.m. July 11 in the Greensburg High School gym, unless an open air ceremony is necessary, in which case the event will take place in the football field.
At risk populations (those over the age of 65 or with health conditions) are not encouraged to attend.
The event will be live-streamed at GTV livestream, on the Greensburg High School YouTube channel, on Twitter, possibly on WTRE, and the ETC Community Channel.
The Daily News will provide more information as it becomes available.