The St. James Class of 2020 will hold their graduation on Friday night at the Multi-Sports Complex. This year will look different due to COVID-19, but seniors will be honored as they take their final steps together as a class.
This year’s event will be livestreamed on the St. James R-1 School District YouTube page, with a link included on the school’s website at www.stjschools.org and it will be shared on social media for those wishing to view the event. Seniors are allowed to bring eight guests for the event, which will be set up to provide social distancing. Those who are registered to attend in person will be allowed to bring their own chairs and to set up with their families, spreading out around the stands near the field. There will also be some room in the stands, which will be set up to allow families to be together, but seating will be limited. Plans are also in place to keep graduates and board members distanced during the ceremony as well.
The event will be held at 8 p.m. at the facility, with the main gate to be opened at 6:30 p.m. In the event of inclement weather, the event will be held on Saturday, June 27 beginning at 8 p.m.
The district encourages those who attend to wear face masks, but they are optional. Guests are still encouraged to stick to family units and continue to practice social distancing as there are still safety concerns about groups gathering. The bleachers will be set up with every other row available for families to sit and maintain distancing protocols, but there will be limited seating and guests are encouraged to bring chairs or plan to stand for the ceremony.
The Missouri University of Science and Technology has agreed to lend a portable stage for the event and board members will be spread out on the stage as the graduation ceremony is held. Students will also be spaced apart on the field as they hold their graduation walk to receive their diploma.
After the ceremony, all guests are encouraged to leave the complex in a timely manner and the district asks that post-graduation pictures be taken off site to ensure public safety. Pictures will be taken with students in their caps and gowns during graduation practice on Thursday.
The district hopes to provide as normal a graduation ceremony as possible for this year’s graduates and hopes to honor the senior’s final act together before moving on to the next stages of their lives.
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