Dare County Schools announce approved high school graduation plan

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FILE – In this May 17, 2018, file photo, new graduates line up before the start of the Bergen Community College commencement at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Americans who have spent time in foster care are far more likely than other adults to lack a college degree, health insurance and a stable health care provider, according to a new federal analysis released Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, that is unprecedented in its scope. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

DARE COUNTY, N.C. (WAVY) — The Dare County Board of Education announced that after a “special meeting” on Thursday, they unanimously approved the proposed high school graduation plan.

The plan includes both “drive-in” ceremonies in June and the possible opportunity for a traditional ceremony in July — pending the condition of the state at that time as a result of the pandemic.

Drive-In Ceremonies June 1 to June 12

  • Each graduating senior and family/household members will be recognized and receive a diploma at a graduation venue following social distancing guidelines between June 1 and June 12. 
    • Audra Krieg Photography will photograph families on stage.
    • Baldwin Video Productions will take a video for a culminating graduation video(s) that will be released by mid-June (approximate date). 
  • All graduation speakers (ex. Valedictorian etc.) will be filmed giving their speeches for their school graduation video.
  • Parents will be able to download free family photos on the district website.
  • Initial rain dates are June 4, June 5, and June 12.

Drive-in schedule:
June 1 to June 3: FFHS on the football field
June 8 to June 10: Manteo High School at the Waterside Theatre
June 11: Cape Hatteras Secondary School on the baseball field

High school principals will be sending out plans to all graduating seniors and their parents over the next few days. The plans will provide families with a school-specific plan that includes schedules, logistical information, social distancing guidelines, parking plans, and stage protocol as well as photography guidelines. 

All family or household members must wear a face covering at the event.

“This is mandated to protect the staff and administration at each venue. Families can briefly take their face coverings off while photos are taken (if desired). In addition, each senior can briefly take their mask off (if desired) while they are photographed with their diploma. Face coverings will be provided for those who may need it,” said school officials in a letter.

“Our expectation is that family and household members (only) may attend the event but please keep in mind that we cannot have more than 25 individuals on-site including administration, staff, SRO’s and video personnel. Each school will contact each family to confirm a number of attendees for planning purposes. Families may be asked to reduce the number of participants if it is an excessive request that puts our capacity in jeopardy. In general, each family should be able to easily have 6-7 attendees,” continues the letter.

Traditional Ceremonies July 17 and July 18

The traditional ceremonies will be dependent on the condition of the state on the given dates.

“These dates have been selected to allow a significant amount of time to pass with hopes that North Carolina could move to ‘phase 3’ by July. While this may not necessarily be the most convenient date for everyone, we are trying to stay away from the July 4 holiday and avoid scheduling too close to August when many graduates will go off to college, the workforce, military, etc.,” added the letter.

The current proposed dates and venues are:
July 17: FFHS at 7:00 pm on the football field
July 18: MHS at 9:00 am at the Waterside Theatre
July 18: CHSS at 7:00 pm (site TBD)

“In closing, we are extremely proud of the class of 2020 and are trying to do all that we can to provide the class with a special send-off. Congratulations to our seniors and their proud families and thank you for your patience and support” read the letter in closing.

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