The Boonville R-I School District has adopted several plans for its commencement ceremony for 130 seniors.
Graduation is planned at 7:30 p.m. June 12 at the high school football field.
Commencement will be postponed to June 13 in case of rain. If there is rain that date as well, the ceremony will be pushed back a further day.
The date was decided by the Boonville Board of Education and gives the district about another month to prepare.
“We were still in school closure until May 14, and so we felt based on information from the health department and other sources of information, that May 17 was going to be too soon given the circumstances,” Superintendent Sarah Marriott said.
Attendance will be limited. Seniors will receive six tickets apiece and social distancing guidelines will be followed. Chairs will be set apart from each other. Family members are encouraged to take their own safety measures as well.
“We consulted with the health department on how many people given the space that we have on a football field, as well as spreading people out in the bleachers,” Marriott said.“
The district has to plan for approximately 700 guests spread throughout the football stadium. The board understands this has been a really difficult year for all of the students but specifically the high school seniors, Marriott said.
“Hosting a commencement ceremony has been very important for the district as well as our students,” she said. “It’s [a] symbol of recognition for their many years of work, so we’re trying to make all the accommodations possible.”
The district looked at other options, but they do not compare to an in-person ceremony, Marriott said.
“If things were to deteriorate and get significantly worse, there are options that we need to reflect back on and see if we need to do something [different],” she said.
The district and the board is working to follow health guidelines while still honoring seniors.
The ceremony’s featured speaker is Boonville High School language arts teacher Jody Goodman.
There are Plans B and C in case graduation cannot be held on the planned date.
If there is an outbreak and more precautions are necessary, graduation will be postponed to July 10. If conditions further deteriorate, the date will be pushed to July 31. If the district has to postpone to one of these dates, the ceremony still will start at 7:30 p.m.