High Schools Finalize Graduation
East and West Bladen high schools will offer two opportunities for seniors to participate in graduation: One will be a drive-in ceremony and one will be an inside, individual ceremony. Details of the inside ceremony released on May 8, will be followed with the exception of the date being changed.
Inside, individual graduation for West Bladen seniors will be Thursday, June 11 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. East Bladen’s inside, individual graduation will be Saturday, June 13 beginning at 1:00 p.m. West Bladen is asking seniors to RSVP to the ceremony of their choosing; either inside or drive-in.
On June 12 and 13 beginning at 8:00 a.m., each high school will host a drive-in graduation ceremony, during which graduating seniors and their families will drive to their respective school campus. Seniors must be dressed in graduation cap and gown. West Bladen will conduct their drive-in ceremony on Friday, June 12 and East Bladen will have theirs on Saturday, June 13. Both schools will begin their ceremony at 8:00 a.m.
Vehicles will be instructed to park in the student parking lot and must arrive no later than 7:30 a.m. Each senior will be given one car pass for a closed vehicle (no RVs, buses, Jeeps with no doors or tops, convertibles with tops down, or trucks with people in the bed). Families are encouraged to decorate their vehicles in celebration of their graduates. Graduates and family members/guests will remain in their vehicles during the entire ceremony.
Following greetings and remarks given by the class Salutatorian, Valedictorian, and school Principal, vehicles will be directed one at a time to drive up to a designated spot for the senior to exit their vehicle and walk across the stage to pick up their diploma. Family members and guests are to remain inside their vehicles. The graduate will return to their vehicle and exit the school campus or return to their original parking spot for the conclusion of the ceremony.
Any graduate with transportation concerns should contact his/her school prior to the scheduled graduation date. Any graduate unable or uncomfortable participating in either ceremony should contact the school to pick up their diploma
Both ceremonies will adhere to the CDC guidelines for COVID-19 and recommendations for social distancing. COVID-19 is an emerging respiratory disease and there is more to learn about its transmission, clinical course, and populations at increased risk of disease and complications. Everyone can do his or her part to help plan, prepare, and respond to this emerging public health threat.
In-person Graduation Plan
Unless state restrictions are lifted that allow for a traditional graduation ceremony, the following plan will remain in effect.
East Bladen High School - June 13, 2020, beginning at 1:00 p.m.
West Bladen High School - June 11, 2020, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Each graduate will participate in an individual/personalized ceremony with the school administration and family members, to be held in the media center. Whole class graduation will not take place. Only one student at a time and their family members will participate in the graduation ceremony. Graduates will be allowed to bring up to four family members (infants are included in the count) to celebrate their special day. Graduates will receive a scheduled time from the school as when to report for their individual graduation.
The following steps outline the guidelines for each graduate and their family.
Step 1: CAMPUS ARRIVAL
- Upon arrival at the faculty parking lot, a School Resource Officer (SRO) will direct vehicles to designated parking.
- Special accommodations/handicap parking needs should be communicated to the SRO upon entering the parking lot.
- Graduate and family members are to remain in the car until directed to exit the car by the SRO and move to the next appropriate area.
Step 2: ATTIRE
- The graduate should arrive dressed in graduation regalia.
- Per guidelines, each graduate and family members (other than children under the age of 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unable to remove the mask without assistance) will be required to wear a mask/face covering during the entire ceremony.
Step 3: SCREENINGS PRIOR TO ENTERING THE BUILDING
- Each graduate and family members will have their thermal temperature taken by a health professional.
- Once cleared, entry into the building will be allowed.
- Per CDC guidelines, anyone experiencing COVID-like symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and/or new loss of taste or smell, it is recommended to remain at home.
Step 4: WAITING AREA
- The graduate and family members will be directed to move to an inside waiting area.
- School faculty will review the graduate’s regalia to ensure it is properly worn.
- The graduate will pick up copies of the graduation program placed on a table.
- Graduate and family members will proceed to the ceremony staging area.
Step 5: CEREMONY
- Graduate and family members will be directed from the ceremony staging area to the media center graduation area; the maximum room attendance will not exceed 10 persons.
- School administration will address the graduate and present diploma; no physical contact will take place between the graduate and school staff.
- A photographer will take an official graduation photo. A photo op area in front of the media center will be set-up for family photos.
- The graduation ceremony will be live-streamed for those not in attendance to view.
Step 6: DIPLOMA/DOCUMENT PICKUP AREA
- Graduate and family members will move from the media center to the double doors in the front lobby.
- Graduation documents and any other final documents will be placed on a table for the graduate to pick up upon exiting.
- Graduate and family will return to their car and immediately exit the campus.
GENERAL SAFETY PROTOCOLS - All Bladen County Schools personnel, SROs, and any others involved in the graduation ceremony will also adhere to the same safety protocols as graduates and their families.
- Personnel that is part of the ceremony (whether inside or outside) will adhere to temperature checks.
- Sanitizer will be available at the various waiting areas.
- Doors will be propped open to eliminate touching doorknobs and handles.
- Chairs used in the graduation ceremony area will be sanitized and rotated between each ceremony.
- Social distancing guidelines will be followed at all times.
- Mask/face covering must be worn at all times.