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Granton graduation set for July 25

After months of wondering and waiting, Granton senior class members finally know when they will offi cially be high school graduates. The Granton School Board made the decision to hold an outdoor graduation ceremony on July 25 at 11 a.m., as well as set out plans for the start of the 2020-21 school year.

With no standing mandates preventing large gatherings, the Board decided to go forward with plans to hold some form of graduation ceremony for its seniors, coming to agree on the July 25 date during its meeting on June 8. The ceremony itself will take place in the Granton Community Park, and will be following guidelines put out by the Clark County Health Department. “There are no mandates, they’re just guidelines,” said high school principal Amanda Kraus. “But we want to be as close to guidelines as possible and work with the Clark County Health Department on this.”

In accordance with these guidelines, the ceremony is expected to take place within the park’s baseball diamond, with graduates seated six feet apart in the diamond’s infield and their families seated in clustered groups in the outfield. If it rains, the Board is considering options such as renting a tarp or canopy to place over the stage or to move the ceremony out of the baseball field and into the park’s parking lot where people can stay seated in their cars for the graduation. For the ceremony itself, Kraus said the plan is to have at least the principal, valedictorian and salutatorian speeches given to the graduates, but other parts of graduation such as the distribution of scholarships are not going to be included. There will not be handshakes during the ceremony either; students will pick up their diplomas on a table that will be placed on the stage to limit person-to-person contact.

“They are not going to have them handled by anyone, nor will they have shaking hands,” said Kraus. “The graduates will have the diploma laid on a table that they will pick up when they come on stage, the table will be wiped down between each student and the next diploma will be laid.”

The Board also discussed its options for summer school at its meeting. Kraus said they are looking at holding a two-week summer school session from Aug. 10-21 and closing down the school for the final week of August before opening the doors back up again for the first day of school on Sept. 1.

Dependent on staff interest, Kraus said the all-day sessions will be open to all Granton Area School students for those two weeks. During that time, she said the students will have lessons to catch them up on things missed at the end of the 2019-20 year and provide students and staff some closure.

“The students will start with last year’s teachers so they can try to close out the previous year,” she said. “Then we will have the teachers switch classrooms so that their next year teacher will be in the classroom to teach.”

There will also be precautions taken to make sure everyone is safe. Breakfast and lunch will be eaten in individual classrooms to limit large groups, hand sanitizer stations will be added throughout the district, and other areas such as outdoor classrooms will be utilized. At the end of each day, the classrooms will be disinfected.

“They will not have lunch in the cafeteria,” said Kraus. “To avoid mass gatherings, they will eat in their classrooms … We are going to add hand sanitation stations in the school, and try to situate desks to meet guidelines. We’re not entirely sure what that will look like.”

The Board also discussed its options for reopening the school’s swimming pool to the public, but eventually decided to wait until guidelines are more favorable to pool usage. According to Kraus, the current guidelines would limit the amount of person-to-person contact swim instructors would have with their students, making it impossible to teach inexperienced swimmers who need hands-on help.