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Lincoln School Board settles on graduation date, plan; some details still to be resolved

The Lincoln School Board decided in their May 11 meeting to hold graduation ceremonies June 6 outside on the football field, using social distancing measures and limiting total attendees to 150.

The school plans to rent a 36-inch LED screen to display the ceremony and use FM radio transmission for attendees who would like to stay in their cars to watch graduation. The board discussed having kindergarten graduation at 10 a.m., 8th grade graduation at 11:30 a.m., and seniors at 1 p.m. Pastor Art McCafferty has been designated to lead the baccalaureate ceremony.

For seniors, graduation changes come on top of many other changes this year, from switching to online school to the cancelation of spring sports and a variety of other school events.

"I am feeling okay about the new graduation ceremony. I was really looking forward to having all of my friends from different grades at graduation so I'm bummed about that. I'm really excited we will be having it outside," shared senior Alexis Cannon in an email. "I definitely think I missed out on some social experiences that would have happened. Especially with track being canceled. Also, prom and senior trip being canceled really stinks. I think people who are also graduating this year should know that no matter the situation, just enjoy it. You worked really hard for this moment, so no matter what kind of format it is in, enjoy it because it is a celebration for you and all your hard work."

"It has been hard not being able to have the last two months of our senior year. We didn't get to participate in track or have a senior prom. Those memories have been taken away from us," senior Sage Kamps wrote in an email.

"I feel extremely blessed that we get to have a graduation ceremony this year. I think it will be fun to have it outside and to be celebrated," said Kamps. "I think that it is important for people to know that we feel like we are getting under-appreciated through all of this. We don't get a huge graduation or wonderful family parties afterward. Our families from out of state can't come. Though we feel blessed that we even got a graduation, it still isn't perfect."

Students graduating from eighth grade are adapting to changes and uncertainty, too, from online schooling to graduation. "Schooling is hard, but I feel the teachers are making it way easier," said eighth grader Kylee Copenhaver, who wasn't sure if eighth grade graduation would be held. "If they could do it, great. But if they can't, I understand. My family would be there. Me and my family are pretty close so we're always at each other's events."

The school expects to provide each graduate with 10 tickets to invite family and friends, though weather considerations may affect that. At press time the school board hadn't yet settled the question of requiring masks and temperature checks for attendees, nor on how to limit exposure between attendees. Some options included asking visitors to bring their own chairs if they can and to use restrooms before attending graduation. Final decisions were expected to be made Tuesday afternoon May 19.


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