MHS 2020 Graduation Continuing as Scheduled

by Elizabeth Pitts-Hibbard
Graduates move their tassels at 2019 commencement. Photo by Elizabeth Pitts-Hibbard Graduates move their tassels at 2019 commencement. Photo by Elizabeth Pitts-Hibbard

The Class of 2020 is missing out on most senior activities this spring, but Marlow High School administrators say that graduation will still be held on May 22 at 7pm if everything goes according to plan.

MHS Principal Bryan Brantley announced on Tuesday that the school is working on a plan for a “drive-in” graduation in the gym parking lot that will allow seniors to graduate together and their families to be present.

“We’re doing our best to do a group setting for the entire class and their families,” Brantley said. “The alternative is to do a drive-through or a virtual graduation, or to try to delay it.

“The problem with delaying it is, we don’t know where graduates are going or if they’ll be able to come back for it.”

With this plan, seniors will be allowed one car for them and their immediate family, as well as one additional car for more family members and friends. A stage will be set up in front of the gym, and seniors’ vehicles will be assigned to the first few rows while maintaining social distancing.

Brantley said that the ceremony will continue as traditionally as possible, with commencement speakers and names read aloud as graduates cross the stage. “We want to strike the right balance of safety and tradition,” he said.

Administrators are developing a plan to take video of the ceremony or live-stream it on the internet, as well as trying to determine if it’s possible to broadcast commencement on local radio so that attendees can listen while in their cars and those not in attendance may listen from home.

“We’ll try to have some commentary while the graduates are coming to the stage, so that even though we’re not having Class Day we can let people know a little more about each senior,” Brantley said.

He emphasized that plans are in the early stages and that more information will be forthcoming as soon as they are finalized.

Brantley also recently announced dates for students to return items that belong to the school, as well as how to arrange to pick up personal items that may have been left at the school prior to its closing.

• May 4 is athletic uniform and equipment check-in; students and coaches will be in contact to arrange for drop-off of any athletic equipment students have at home.

• May 7 is the date for library book and textbook check-in.

• Any students who have personal items remaining at the school should call during office hours, 9am – 12pm Monday through Thursday to make arrangements for pick-up.