Wauseon High School will hold an in-car parking lot commencement ceremony for graduating seniors on Sunday, May 24, at 2:30 p.m., according to Principal Keith Leatherman.
Parking for the event will be available in the Wauseon Elementary School and Wauseon Middle School parking lots.
According to the school district, each graduate will be permitted one passenger vehicle, each with a limit of guests according to the number of available seat belts. No convertibles are permitted.
Each graduate will receive a numbered ticket to display on the vehicle’s dashboard and to serve as entry to the parking lot for the ceremony. Each vehicle will be assigned a parking space to maintain social distancing. All vehicles will face the middle school building in the event parking lot.
Law enforcement officers and school staff will serve as lot attendants. Admittance will begin at 12:30 p.m., and vehicles should enter using Indian Way or Oak Street.
The traditional ceremony will include addresses by student speakers, school administrators, and Board of Education President Sandra Griggs, using a raised stage with a sound system placed between the parking lot and school building. The ceremony will be broadcast live on 94.3-FM The Buck, and streaming will be available.
All graduates should wear the traditional cap and gown to the ceremony.
Diplomas will be presented at the end of the ceremony, with graduates called on stage one at a time in alphabetical order. Only the graduates will touch the diplomas and flowers presented. Their vehicles will be directed by parking attendants during presentation of the diplomas.
Each graduate will pose for a formal photograph after receiving their diploma.
Armstrong emphasized that proper social distancing must be practiced at all times on and near the stage. All family members and guests must remain in their vehicles during the entire graduation ceremony.
Commencement exercises will conclude after all graduates have received a diploma. Vehicles will be directed out of the parking lot.
The ceremony will be videotaped in its entirety and made available to graduates and their parents.
Any participants experiencing COVID-19 symptoms are asked to stay home.
The rain date for the ceremony is Memorial Day, Monday, May 25, at 2:30 p.m.
“We would like to thank everyone for their patience as we have worked diligently to develop a plan for the 2020 graduation ceremony,” Leatherman said. “These are certainly unprecedented times, and with the information continuously changing, It has not been without challenge.”
He thanked community members, local officials, and school staff “for coming together to provide an event that honors and celebrates the WHS class of 2020 as they end this chapter of their lives and begin another.”
Leatherman added, “To the Class of 2020: We know this has not been the way you wanted to conclude your high school career. Please know our greatest goal in developing this graduation plan was to maintain the integrity of this milestone event in the most traditional way possible, while also meeting the guidelines set forth by the state and local governments. We thank you for your positivity and unity during this time and look forward to celebrating your accomplishments.”
He also thanked the Fulton County Health Department and other local officials for approving the commencement plan.