Milford, Lake schools formulate graduation ceremony plans

MILFORD — Combining the traditional and the virtual, Milford High School is rolling out plans for its graduation ceremonies in June.

Students will have the opportunity to walk, under social distancing guidelines.

“In our committee, with numerous parents and students, they all expressed a desire to walk the green and we felt that was really going to be an important part of their graduation ceremony,” said principal Jesse Parsley during Monday’s school board meeting.

The high school will schedule blocks of time throughout the weekend of June 12. Dressed in their graduation regalia, students — and four family or supporting members — will arrive at Briggs Stadium. They’ll take photos on the track before walking the green; the Buccaneer mascot head will be set up, as it always is, at the 50-yard line, Mr. Parsley said.

“We’ll have their name announced. Their parents will be with them when they receive their diploma, and we will have a photographer on staff there to take pictures by themselves with cap and gown and diploma, and with their family,” he continued. “That way they’ll be able to provide pictures in the future.”

He added that they hope to livestream the students as they walk across the green and receive their diploma, as well as recording that to weave together a virtual graduation video.

Slated for June 18 at 7 p.m., the virtual component will begin with “Pomp and Circumstance,” followed by the speakers — Superintendent Kevin Dickerson, the principal and student speeches — and then the senior choir to perform the national anthem and the senior song.

“We’re hoping that it will look very similar to what our traditional graduation will look like because it’ll have all of the pieces,” he said. “We’re going to have to grind that out a little bit, as far as piecing those students walking the green, receiving their diploma. We’ll piece those together and hopefully it’ll be a seamless transition from one student to next.”

In addition to graduation, senior events begin on June 9 at 7 p.m. with the senior awards presentation, and the district is finalizing plans for the Senior Cruise — a car parade — which will be held off school campus.

Beyond the adapted celebration, Mr. Parsley said that through a survey that received more than 150 responses from parents and students, there was interest in having a traditional celebration for the class of 2020 when health risks are minimized.

“As things lighten up and we’re provided with opportunities to do that, they felt pretty strongly that they would like to have that happen. So hopefully we’ll be working towards that as well,” he said.

During the board meeting, board president Renate Wiley noted that seniors are looking forward to the upcoming events.

“I know that, having a granddaughter who is a senior, the Senior Cruise and also walking the green are two of the highlights that she’s looking forward to,” she added.

The district is among others to announce its plans for graduation ceremonies amid the struggles the pandemic presents. Plans have varied by district.

Also Monday, Lake Forest School District announced its plans for the Senior Cruise. Spearheaded by the Harrington Fire Company, on Saturday, the class of 2020 will gather at the high school and form a parade of cars to travel southbound on U.S. 13 to the Delaware State Fairgrounds, where they’ll proceed through.

The district asks that those who wish to see the procession arrive at the fairgrounds by 4:30 p.m. and encourages viewers to decorate vehicles or bring signs.

Helpful Coronavirus links

Delaware Division of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage
Reopening Delaware: Resources for Businesses
Delaware Phase 2 guidance

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