The COVID-19 pandemic continues to adversely affect the Hancock County school system, and plans for this year’s high school graduation. At this time, the school system does plan to hold an in-person graduation ceremony, but it is not open to the general public. Masks are required to attend.
The ceremony takes place on May 26 at 6 p.m. at Schafer-Glover field. The school plans to give each graduating senior five tickets for the graduation ceremony. The seniors then give these tickets to the people they want to attend their graduation. If a person does not have a ticket, he or she cannot attend the graduation ceremony. At this time the school district is still formulating a plan for holding the ceremony in case of inclement weather.
This year approximately 100 students will graduate. Compared to the past two years, the class is smaller. Over the past five years, approximately 120 students graduated yearly from Hancock County high school. Traditionally, the graduation ceremony takes place in the school gym, but since the school must follow COVID-19 social distancing protocols, the ceremony takes place outside this year.
Each school in the system plans to hold graduation ceremonies. North Hancock Elementary School plans to hold its ceremony on May 20, Hancock County Middle School plans its ceremony for May 24 and South Hancock’s takes place on May 25.
At this time, North Hancock Elementary continues to develop its plans for graduation. The ceremony takes place after school, but the school has not set a time for it yet. Nor does the school know if its graduation takes place indoors or outdoors. Approximately 90 fifth graders will graduate, and each graduate is allowed two adults to attend the ceremony. Proper social distancing guidelines will be in force, which means attendees must follow proper social distancing and wear masks.
The middle school graduation ceremony takes place May 24. Proper social distancing guidelines and a mask mandate are mandatory. Like the high school, each eighth grader gets five tickets to hand out to friends and family for the event. The ceremony takes place at the high school football field, starting at 6 p.m. Approximately 131 eighth graders will graduate.
South Hancock Elementary School’s graduation ceremony takes place in the school gym from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on May 25. Approximately 35 fifth graders will graduate. Each graduate is allowed two adults to attend the ceremony. Proper social distancing and a mask mandate are in effect for the ceremony.
By Ralph Dickerson