The Covington High School graduation ceremony is once again taking place at Jack Salter Stadium on April 30.
It marks the second consecutive year that the ceremony will be at the high school rather than the traditional Southeastern setting due to COVID restrictions.
Kenneth Schneck, the wrestling coach and a teacher at CHS, said, “Due to COVID, we held an optional graduation ceremony last year. Teachers and students did not have to attend, but we had a great turnout last year. Before that, I am not sure. I have been teaching here[Covington High] for 14 years and we have had graduation at SELU each year. From what I gathered, SELU was not comfortable with holding large events inside their arena due to COVID.”
The graduation ceremony is by invitation only, and graduates are to limit their guests to around ten people.
Guidelines state that the ceremony should not exceed the 90-minute cap. All students, staff members and attendees are to be masked, seated and socially distanced during the ceremony.
Available seating for guests is the home side bleachers or football field.
Guests will be screen for COVID like symptoms. Anyone else who has been in close contact with someone who tested positive for the virus will not be allowed to enter the stadium.
Graduates and guests are to follow social distancing guidelines at all times. Covington High will not provide chairs for seating on the football field. The social distancing between families is to be maintained.
Kabren Williams, a varsity basketball player and graduate in the class of 2021, says, “I expected the setting to be at Southeastern and packed with all the families except having a limited amount of people. The only thing that is the same is how we do the ceremony which is just waking the stage and getting to wear a cap and gown.”
The visitor-side bleachers will seat the graduates. The stage will be on the track in front of the bleachers. The school is not allowing guest seating in that area.
Once the ceremony finishes, graduates and their guests are supposed to leave the campus so they do not congregate on campus.
Officials are monitoring the weather. If the weather prevents the ceremony from happening, it will take place May 7.
Mariah Garrett, who is a Covington High alumni and currently a student at Southeastern, said, “Graduation felt like a big accomplishment & being that the atmosphere we were in was so big it gave me butterflies. Walking across the stage felt like I was being handed a trophy or an Oscar for all my hard work.”
The graduation ceremony commences at 7 p.m.