Ashley County High School’s seniors will finally get to walk to the music of “Pomp and Circumstance” in their graduation cap and gowns this month.
Hamburg High School’s commencement exercises are scheduled for Saturday morning, while Crossett High School’s in-person ceremonies are currently set for July 25. CHS previously had a digital graduation in May.
The graduation ceremonies will be different this year as the schools are working to abide by COVID-19 guidelines. Hamburg also has additional rules in place to protect the new turf on its football field.
Eddie Tucker with Hamburg School District said that each Hamburg senior who attends both graduation practices will be given six tickets to give to their families to attend the graduation.
Tucker also said that the distict posted specific guidelines on its Facebook page for students, staff and guests.
Social distancing must be practiced by all students, staff and guests in attendance and masks must be worn at all times unless a person is speaking. Seating will be in the stands only and no one will be permitted to stand or sit outside of the bleachers.
As mandated by the state, all attendants will be separated by six feet of space. Families of six or more may sit closer together.
No one will be allowed on the field except for the graduates.
Additionally, no pets, noise makers or balloons will be allowed at the ceremony.
Tucker said the students will not receive their diplomas until after the ceremony, but immediately following the ceremony they will be available in the field house.
Students will not be allowed to wear high heels or any shoes that may damage the new turf. Graduation practices will be 9 a.m. Thursday and Friday and the ceremony will be 10 a.m. Saturday.
Crossett Principal Anthony Boykin said that Crossett’s graduation is scheduled for 10 a.m. July 25 on the football field.
In the event of inclement weather it will be moved to the arena. If the graduation is at the football field, students will get 15 tickets each. If it is in the arena, they will get six each. Boykin said the school will use both sides of the football field for seating to allow more space to social distance and that they will alter the seating on the field to maximize visibility from both sides.
Boykin said that the school hasn’t released exact social distancing guidelines, but will post those to its social media account as soon as they are available. Crossett will not require a practice, but they are requiring that graduates be at the field to line up by 9 a.m. on Saturday morning.