Seniors will receive limited tickets for graduation: An update on the ceremony

Alyce Brown, Staff Contributor

Graduation will most likely be held at the TaxSlayer Center (barring a large COVID spike) and tickets will be limited to either four or six per graduate, according to Monday’s school board meeting. 

The audience seating pods outlined by the TaxSlayer range in size, so the board is “still trying to determine” which amount of tickets each graduate will get, according to Director of Secondary Education Mike Zimmer. 

The PV band will also not be performing at the ceremony. The maximum number of people allowed on the “stage” at the TaxSlayer Center is 400 due to COVID protocols, and with a graduating class of 351 students, Zimmer said the band will not be able to be present. He is, however, working on trying to have a choir present during the ceremony. 

The TaxSlayer Center will also require that everyone within the building be six feet apart during graduation (with the exception of the audience members in their pods of four or six). Due to these guidelines, there will be no entrance walk and possibly no exit walk for the graduates. Normally, graduates line up two-by-two around the TaxSlayer center then walk in to start the ceremony, but there is not enough space to line up graduates six feet apart.

The ceremony will instead start with the graduates in their seats, socially distanced.

Superintendent Brian Strusz did, however, hold out hope for the exit walk, when the graduates walk out of the TaxSlayer Center two-by-two after the ceremony. “We may still be able to do that because we just do row by row dismissal and you’re going straight outside anyway, so we’ll look at that piece,” he said. 

The exact time of graduation is still unknown due to the TaxSlayer’s announcement that they will need two hours between events to sanitize the space. North Scott’s graduation ceremony will be at noon on the same day as PV’s, so the administration is figuring out how timing will work with the new sanitization protocol added.

Administration is also currently figuring out how to livestream the graduation for friends and family that cannot attend due to the limited tickets. They are working on where to position the cameras and how to make sure the livestream is quality, and Strusz confirmed that “if we can do that [a livestream], we will do that.”

In a “worst case scenario” where case counts get too high and the TaxSlayer is no longer a viable option, Zimmer said that the graduation would be held in the PV gym and each graduate would be allotted two tickets. 

Many aspects of graduation are still up in the air, but the administration is committed to making it as normal as possible. “It’s not going to be last year, and it’s not going to be our normal graduation,” said Strusz. “Somewhere in between there there’s a live graduation for our seniors.”