A graduation unlike any other
It may be a graduation unlike any other but the Kasson-Mantorville Class of 2020 will still have the opportunity for parents and grandparents to watch them receive their diplomas.
Details are still being worked out, said Supt. Mark Matuska, but the plan is for the ceremony to be held outside in the parking lot in front of the main entrance to K-M High School.
School officials will be on a large stage erected in front of the school while the graduates, and a limited number of family members, will be in their cars in the parking lot.
“Graduation will be as realistic and meaningful as possible,” High School Principal Trent Langemo said, while meeting the restrictions put in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Current planning, both men said, will be for the students to remain in their vehicles until the time for them to carefully process across the stage to be awarded their diplomas in a socially distanced manner.
There are 175 graduates, Matuska said, so the number of vehicles located in the parking lot immediately in front of the stage will be limited to that number. This will allow the parking lot to remain as safe and “senior focused” as possible, Langemo said.
There will be overflow parking on the football fields adjacent to the parking lot.
To make sure that everyone can see and hear the ceremony, Langemo said, the district will be making use of two 16 x 8 ft. screens for the visuals of the program and an FM radio frequency for the audio. Those attending will be able to tune their car radios to a designated radio frequency to hear the ceremony.
All those attending, Langemo said, will need to stay in their vehicle at all times with the exception of the graduates as they prepare to receive their diploma. A professional photographer will also be on hand to take pictures of the graduates as they walk across the stage.
Langemo said that it is unlikely there will be any live music presentations for the event although an opportunity for student speakers is possible.
The graduation ceremony is scheduled or 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 31.
The closing of schools to in-person classes has resulted in numerous changes to a normal spring schedule, especially for the seniors.
The senior class trip to Whitewater State Park was cancelled. The Senior Scholarship Awards Night will involve a published slideshow with pictures and video presentations and there will also be a Senior Slideshow prepared.
A Baccalaureate service was planned for May 17 and will still be held in partnership with St. John’s Lutheran in Kasson and utilize technology to offer a faith-based celebration for seniors, Langemo said.
The last day of flex learning for the senior class will be May 22.