Biloxi High officials on Thursday announced graduation plans for the Class of 2020.
In a letter released to the media, school officials said, “Our goal in developing this plan was to try and keep graduation as traditional as possible during these challenging times. I think that we accomplished that goal and can carry it out in a safe and socially distanced manner.”
Biloxi High principal Teresa Martin said, “This plan keeps graduation as traditional as possible while maintaining proper social distancing for safety. Graduation is an enormous milestone for all students and we are striving to maintain the honor of this event. We will do everything in our power to make this graduation as wonderful as possible to recognize the amazing Class of 2020.”
School officials also stressed that the plan is subject to change based on the safety and health guidelines in place at the time of the ceremonies.
The plan is as follows:
● Graduation will be broken into approximately 9 sessions with approximately 40 students graduating per session.
o A professional videographer will film all sessions and compile them into a single ceremony that will be provided at no charge to all graduates.
● We will hold the ceremonies in the Biloxi High School Sports Arena.
o We can safely space out 40 families in the Sports Arena bleachers.
o Each graduate may bring no more than 6 immediate family members.
o Graduates will be safely spaced out in seating along the Arena floor.
● The ceremony will follow traditional sequencing with opening remarks, salutatorian speech, valedictorian speech, presentation of diplomas, students walking the stage, closing remarks, and the singing of the alma mater (speeches will only be given during the first session but will be included in the video).
o Senior awards and recognition will be incorporated into the graduation ceremony. As each graduate crosses the stage, their image, scholarship offerings, and awards will be displayed on a screen behind the stage (awards and scholarships will not be verbally announced).
● At the conclusion of each session, graduates will have the opportunity to go to the BHS courtyard to ring the bell. A tradition that BHS students have celebrated for many years (gloves and sanitizer will be available).
● Families will also have the opportunity to visit the BHS practice gym where a professional photographer will be available to take pictures of graduates and families.
● At the conclusion of each session, crews will properly sanitize facilities to prepare for the next set of graduates.
The schedule for the ceremonies will be spread out across three days so that we can hold all sessions in the evening.
This was done in an effort to accommodate family work schedules. The schedule will be as follows:
● Monday May 18 – Sessions at 5:00 PM, 6:00 PM, & 7:00 PM
● Tuesday May 19 – Sessions at 5:00 PM, 6:00 PM, & 7:00 PM
● Wednesday May 20 – Sessions at 5:00 PM, 6:00 PM, & 7:00 PM
Once details have been arranged, graduates will be notified of their assigned graduation session.