Plans approved for graduation ceremonies


By Kayla Hawthorne - khawthorne@aimmediamidwest.com



POINT PLEASANT — All three high school graduation plans have been approved by health officials and are set for next weekend. All are to be held outdoors.

Mason County Schools Supt. Jack Cullen said the county health department and Dr. Curtis Pack approved the plans submitted by the schools to have in-person graduation ceremonies.

The ceremonies will begin on Friday, June 26 at 7:30 p.m. at Point Pleasant High School (PPHS). Hannan High School’s (HHS) ceremony will be on Saturday, June 27 at 9 a.m. Wahama High School (WHS) will graduate on Saturday, June 27 at 7 p.m.

The graduation ceremonies will be streamed by Point Pleasant Live, a student media group, according to Supt. Jack Cullen. Cullen said PPHS and WHS’s graduations will be live-streamed on Facebook, but HHS will be delayed due to not having wireless internet connection and cell phone service in the area. Cullen said that each senior will receive a free disc of the recordings, which is funded by sponsors.

Cullen said that Andy Layton is the advisor over the students and project. Layton said that Hannan’s ceremony will be aired at 2 p.m. on Saturday after graduation. Layton said the project would not have happened without the support of Cullen and the board of education.

Although each school has their own set of guidelines for the graduation ceremonies, many of them are similar.

Point Pleasant High School guidelines

At PPHS, each graduate will be given four tickets for family members to get into the facility. The ceremony will be held outside. The graduation ceremony will be streamed for others to view virtually. Anyone who is vulnerable or at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19, or are sick, must remain at home. All participants — including graduates, administrators, guests and family members — must remain at least six feet from other people. To comply with social distancing, handshakes and hugs are not to occur. Any chairs that are provided by the school will be disinfected by school staff before and after each use. Participants may choose to wear cloth face coverings. There will be no diplomas, awards, medals, programs, etc. handed out during the ceremony. Additionally, there will be no sharing or exchanging materials of any kind — including throwing graduation caps, “sign-in” practices, gifts, flowers, etc. Graduates can pick up their diplomas and portfolios after the ceremony on the softball field with social distancing guidelines enforced.

Hannan High School guidelines

At HHS, their graduates will also be given four tickets for family members to sit in the bleachers. However, additional spectators can sit in lawn chairs in designated areas. Tickets are not needed to sit in those areas, but social distancing guidelines must continue to be followed. The guidelines for graduation also say that two parents living in the same household can use one ticket as long as they sit together with six feet of separation between others. The graduation ceremony will be held outside.

Hannan’s graduation will also be streamed on a delay on the Mason County Schools Facebook page. Seniors will get a copy of the ceremony at a later date. Vulnerable people who are at a high risk of severe illness form COVID-19 and those who are sick must stay home. All participants — graduates, administrators, guests and family members — must remain six feet apart. Hugs and handshakes are not allowed. Diplomas, awards, programs, medals, transcripts, etc. will not be handed out during the ceremony. Sharing or exchanging materials must not accrue — including throwing graduation caps, gifts, flowers, etc. The covers for the diplomas will be be on the students’ chair. Diplomas and transcripts will be handed out during practice, which will be at 9 a.m. on Friday, June 26.

Any chairs provided by the school will be disinfected. Participants may choose to wear cloth face coverings.

Wahama High School guidelines

At WHS, the ceremony will also be outside and there will be four tickets “per family.” The bleacher seating will be marked off for social distancing. The gate entrance closest to Lyons Addition will be the only entrance. The gates will open at 6 p.m.

Graduates will be the only ones permitted to sit on the football field.

Anyone with potential COVID-19 symptoms are not to attend the ceremony. Participants may choose to wear face coverings.

Handshaking and hugging are not permitted outside of your immediate family.

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By Kayla Hawthorne

khawthorne@aimmediamidwest.com

Kayla Hawthorne is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.

Kayla Hawthorne is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.