Plans are officially in place for Marion County Public Schools to hold its class of 2020 graduation ceremony, as MCPS Superintendent Taylora Schlosser recently received confirmation that a proposed plan was approved by the Lincoln Trail Health Department.
The plan calls for a drive-thru graduation ceremony which will take place Saturday, May 23 from 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm. The ceremony will honor both Marion County High School and Hugh C. Spalding graduates.
Graduates and up to six family members (one vehicle per graduate) will arrive at Marion County Knight Academy at a scheduled time with approximately 30 graduates scheduled every 30 minutes. From there, vehicles will travel from MCKA to Marion County High School on the connecting road which passes the MCHS soccer, softball, and football fields.
When graduates reach the high school’s back patio, they will exit the vehicle, their names will be called, and they will then retrieve a diploma cover from a table before posing for a photograph in front of a backdrop (official diplomas will be mailed at a later date). A 32’ x 24’ covered stage will be set up on the high school’s back patio, which the graduates will walk across. Family members will be required to stay in their vehicle while the graduate crosses the stage. Graduates will then return to their vehicles and exit campus using Knights Way.
Staff members will be on campus to help coordinate the event, and each will wear appropriate protective gear and will also have their temperature taken. Graduates will also receive an MCHS protective mask when they arrive at MCKA.
MCPS has also contracted with a local videographer Alex Peake who will livestream the event; the recording will also be available online for later viewing. There will also be an LED screen on site showing the ceremony.
“I think given all of the circumstances, this is a really strong plan that gives us a way to honor our graduates in a really special way,” Schlosser said. “It may look different than previous graduations, but this will still be a memorable day. Every graduate will get that opportunity to walk across the stage, which they all deserve.”
Prior to graduation, each graduate will receive detailed instructions mailed to them including their scheduled time to arrive at MCKA. The Lebanon Police Department and the Marion County Sheriff’s Department will also help with the event.
“I really want to thank all of our local law enforcement for their help with this event. Those types of community relationships are always important,” Schlosser said. “And a big thanks also goes to the Lincoln Trail Health Department. I certainly appreciate all of the insight and guidance they’ve provided.”
Before this plan was approved, Schlosser met with a focus group of MCHS seniors to get their input on possible graduation plans. An earlier proposed plan which Schlosser submitted involved having all graduates spread out on the football field for the ceremony. That plan was not approved.
Schlosser unveiled the graduation plan as a guest on the Marion County Fiscal Court’s daily Facebook Live update.
“We’re going to make this special, and it’s going to be first-class,” Schlosser said.