East Carteret HS graduation plans dependent on phase three

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CARTERET COUNTY, N.C. (WNCT) – Carteret County officials are setting guidelines on how their high schools will proceed with graduation ceremonies. The Carteret County Board of Education met Thursday afternoon to discuss options for seniors and parents in light of the pandemic.

East Carteret High School asked the board of education for permission to move forward with a traditional graduation ceremony. Board members came up with two options for the Mariners.

1. After July 1, the school would be able to host a traditional graduation ceremony if the state has moved into reopening phase three with larger public gatherings permitted.

2. If the state is not in phase three by July 1 and larger gatherings are still not permitted, East Carteret would host a modified ceremony. It would include an outdoor ceremony at a site like an athletic field. A minimum of six-feet of social distancing would be required.

“Our job as a school board is to protect the system and our students and our staff and I do think we’ve come up with a good comprise,” said Chairman John McLean.

Each graduate would be allowed a limited number of guests at a modified ceremony, with face masks encouraged.

The ceremony would not be moved indoors in case of bad weather, meaning the commencement could be canceled.

The principal at East Carteret High School says their graduation committee will be meeting Friday to finalize graduation plans.

“East Carteret High School will continue making plans for a special celebration for our seniors and their families. High School graduation is a special and memorable event for the entire community and our focus is to provide a unique and safe ECHS graduation for our Senior Class of 2020,” said Debbie Trogdon, principal at East Carteret High School.

Croatan and West Carteret High School each are planning for appointment-based ceremonies in early June. Seniors will walk across a stage with a limited numbers of guests in attendance.

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