Upstate School Districts Announce High School Graduation Plans

Here are the class of 2020 graduation plans for the Upstate School Districts

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted high school graduation plans for the class of 2020 in the Upstate, SC area. Many students and parents were thinking if graduation rites will happen and how will it happen.

The good thing, Upstate school districts have started announcing graduation plans for the seniors. Here is the latest information we’ve gathered from various school districts on their plans for commencement ceremonies.

This list will be updated as more districts announce their plans.

Greenville County Schools

The school district is still working out plans for graduations and hope to have a tentative plan in place by mid-May. “We are in the process of developing a preference survey to be disseminated to all seniors. This will include options to our traditional graduation ceremonies in terms of format, location, and timing. Once we have collected, analyzed, and discussed the input from the affected students, we will solicit input from parents of graduating seniors via a survey,” said GCS spokesman Tim Waller.

Update: 5/13/20
The district is organizing #BeTheLight for Wednesday, May 20 to honor the high school class of 2020. Greenville County residents are asked to turn on their porch lights from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. to honor the graduating class who have had to make sacrifices due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other ways families can honor seniors include:

  • Put signs/balloons/streamers in front yard supporting the class of 2020
  • Decorate mailbox with high school’s colors and logos
  • Wear favorite high school colors
  • Send in pics of families under the lamplight or with yard signs/decorations to [email protected]
  • Tag social media posts with #BeTheLight

Update: 5/15/20
Greenville County Schools announced that it will host in-person graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2020 at Bon Secours Wellness Arena between May 27 and June 4, excluding May 31.

All attendees will be subjected to the following measures:

  • Precautions will be taken to observe social distancing, personal protective equipment will be worn, and the venue will be disinfected and sanitized before/after each ceremony.
  • GCS will provide gloves, masks, and hand sanitizer for all graduates and school personnel that are assisting with graduation. Students will be required to wear protective equipment until they are seated.
  • Each ceremony will be live-streamed and recorded for the convenience of those who cannot be in attendance.
  • Each guest will have an assigned seat. Guest seats for each graduate will be paired together with an appropriate distance from other occupied seats.
  • Seating priority will be based on random/lottery selection.
  • To maximize floor space and minimize ceremony time and potential exposure, bands and choruses will not perform.
  • All participants and guests must wear masks and undergo a temperature screening in order to participate. Those with a temperature at or above 100.4 degrees will not be allowed inside of BSWA (this includes graduates, staff, and guests).
  • There will be no processional, but students will march out in recess.
  • All participants and guests must enter through appropriate portals and remain in assigned seats unless using the restroom facilities.
  • Programs will be delivered electronically and will be available on school websites prior to graduation day. Graduates are the only individuals who will receive a printed program at the arena.
  • Graduates and families will not be allowed to congregate within BSWA or on the property outside. Individuals without tickets will not be allowed to enter the Arena property prior to graduation or loiter outside the Arena to greet graduates after the ceremony.

Graduation ceremonies will take place at 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to allow ample time for school district personnel to clean and disinfect between events.

Families will receive information specific to their child’s graduation next week, as schools determine processes for ticket lotteries and other details.

Wednesday, May 27

9:00 a.m. – Fine Arts Center

Thursday, May 28

9:00 a.m. – Southside High School

5:00 p.m. – Greenville High School

Friday, May 29

9:00 a.m. – Wade Hampton High School

5:00 p.m. – J.L. Mann High School

Saturday, May 30

9:00 a.m. – Riverside High School

5:00 p.m. – Mauldin High School

Monday, June, 1

9:00 a.m. – Blue Ridge High School

5:00 p.m. – Hillcrest High School

Tuesday, June 2

9:00 a.m. – Eastside High School

5:00 p.m. – Greer High School

Wednesday, June 3

9:00 a.m. – Woodmont High School

5:00 p.m. – Berea High School

Thursday, June 4

9:00 a.m. – Travelers Rest High School

5:00 p.m. – Carolina High School

Pickens County School District

Pickens County School District has announced the tentative graduation plans for their high schools: D.W. Daniel High, Easley High, Liberty High, and Pickens High.

Graduation ceremonies for Daniel, Easley, Liberty, and Pickens High Schools will be at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, May 29 at each school’s athletic stadium. In the event of rain, ceremonies may be moved to 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 30.

Social distancing procedures will be followed at the ceremonies, each senior will receive a limit of 2 free tickets for family members to attend. All ceremonies will be live-streamed so that those who cannot attend can watch.

Laurens County School District 55

The graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020 will take place on June 4, 2020, to be held at 10:00 a.m. on the football field at K.C. Hanna Stadium. All seniors and their parents/guardians will be advised regarding the specific parameters and guidelines for the graduation ceremony. Anyone not receiving a ticket from a graduating senior is invited to watch a live stream of the graduation ceremony (details to be provided later).

June 6, 2020 – Backup date for graduation in case of inclement weather on June 4, 2020 (all other details for graduation will remain the same).

LCSD 55 will observe all social distancing requirements in the organization and operation of the graduation ceremony. This includes appropriate space separation between graduates and the wearing of masks as part of the graduation regalia (masks for graduates will be provided by LCSD 55). All guests at the actual ceremony are also requested to wear masks while enjoying the event and there will be appropriate space between seating areas for attendees. Seniors are not required to take part in the ceremony and may ask to have their diplomas mailed to them in lieu of attendance at the ceremony.

Spartanburg District 1

Spartanburg District 1 announced in a video that the graduation will be held for both Chapman and Landrum High Schools on Thursday, May 28th at 6:00 P.M. and 8:00 P.M. at each school’s football stadium, respectively. If needed, inclement weather make-up dates will be Friday, May 29th at 6:00 P.M. and 8:00 P.M. or Saturday, May 30th at 10:00 A.M. and 12:00 P.M.

Following social distancing guidelines, only seniors and staff participating in the graduation ceremonies will be allowed on the field or in the school buildings. A limited number of tickets will be given for each senior.

Additional details for both Chapman and Landrum High School graduations will be provided over the course of the next few weeks.

Greenwood District 50

Greenwood School District 50 announced plans today that traditional face-to-face graduations will be held for Emerald and Greenwood High School in late May. Each school will host its graduation ceremony on their campus. The district will announce dates, times, and specific locations for both graduations in the near future.

Both graduation ceremonies will follow orders set in place by the Governor and State Superintendent of Education. Both ceremonies will also adhere to policies and procedures recommended by DHEC and CDC. Students will be limited to (2) tickets as ordered by the State Department of Education Social distancing guidelines will be in place for graduates and attendees Specific entry & exit procedures will be put in place for social distancing Both ceremonies will be live-streamed. Additional details and information on both ceremonies will be released by the district and both schools in the near future. “

Anderson School District 5

Anderson School District Five has rescheduled the 2020 Graduation Ceremonies to be held at a later date at each high school stadium. Ceremony dates may be late June or July and specific dates will be determined upon consultation with health officials. Students who choose not to participate may pick up their diplomas at each high school beginning on June 1, 2020.

Oconee County

The School District of Oconee County is still planning for in-person graduations for seniors if at all possible. Ceremonies will be moved from Littlejohn Coliseum to the football stadium at each high school. Announcement forthcoming.

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