Superintendent gives go-ahead for outdoor commencements
Public high schools across Acadia Parish will move forward with plans for outdoor commencement ceremonies this weekend, according to Superintendent Scott Richard.
“Based on the best information available to us from meteorologists’ forecasts as of the time of this communication, the Acadia Parish School System is commencing with the outdoor graduation ceremonies scheduled at each respective high school,” Richard said in a statement on Thursday.
“We certainly hope that those forecasts hold off on any rain as we all celebrate the Senior Class of 2020. We appreciate everyone’s cooperation and patience.”
Ceremonies will occur in a designated area at each high school with limitations on the number and placement of attendees.
Those designated areas of each campus are:
• the football stadium at Crowley Middle School for Crowley High School;
• the Rayne High football stadium;
• the Church Point High football stadium;
• the Iota High football stadium; and
• a designated area near the track facility at Midland High.
The designated dates for each school include 5 p.m. Friday, today, for Midland High and Saturday, May 23, for Crowley (10 a.m.), Church Point (10 a.m.), Iota (10 a.m.) and Rayne (10:30 a.m.) high schools.
“Safety and COVID-19 precautionary measures remain a high priority, therefore, these (outdoor) ceremonies will not resemble previous graduation ceremonies,” Richard said. “In order to adhere to the 6-foot social distancing guidelines, students will be seated 6 feet apart on the football field. Students will be limited to three tickets for guests that will allow for guests to be seated in bleachers 6 feet apart and adhering to large group gathering capacity requirements.”
Guests from the same family will be allowed to sit together as long as they maintaining separation from others.
In the event the ceremonies are forced to be moved indoors, the general format, according to the superintendent, will allow for:
• each senior student, along with a small, limited number of guests, to arrive on campus in full cap and gown attire in a staged area,
• proceed to receive their diploma,
• allow for photographs, and
• for each senior to receive a complimentary electronic compilation version of the entire graduation process for each school.
Each high school will determine more specific details — individual arrival times, parking areas, staging areas, etc — regarding the process that will need to be followed, Richard explained.