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USC School District prepares for graduation ceremony

By Staff | May 24, 2020

This is what USC’s graduation ceremony looked like last year, in 2019. Superintendent Fleming warned USC’s School Board about the repercussions of straying from the state’s graduation ceremony guidelines.

The May United South Central School Board meeting started off with an update from Superintendent Keith Fleming with regard to the school’s 2020 graduating class.

“Right now, the state guidance prohibits in-person graduation ceremonies and also prohibits outdoor stadium graduation ceremonies. We have a plan in place to hold an indoor ceremony, if the guidelines change. We have a plan in place to hold a ceremony at Wells Concrete Stadium, if the guidelines change, but for now, we are making plans for a parking lot ceremony for our graduating class.”

Fleming announced he and the administrative staff have appreciated all of the support from the School District on the topic of the class of 2020’s graduation ceremony, but also cautioned that the school needs to take the state’s guidelines for graduation ceremonies seriously.

“It’s pretty clear we need to follow the guidance of the state. We’ve spoken with our attorneys and any other plans that go against the state’s guidance on graduation ceremonies could result in legal action. That’s something we do not want, or need, for our seniors of 2020 to remember about their graduation.”

Also during their meeting, the School Board received some information on the school’s new Community Education Youth Development Plan from USC’s education coordinator, Laura Foley.

The mission of the new youth development plan is to empower students to meet their full potential by providing meaningful opportunities in their families, communities and career paths.

Foley shared there are six main focuses for the new youth development plan including connection, confidence, character building, competence, contribution and caring. She says the youth development model approach is a framework for understanding positive youth development outcomes. Foley says some of the goals for this program include encouraging intergenerational enrichment opportunities, providing service activities for youth and their families, promoting and supporting on-going chemical free activities, building career and community connections, providing opportunities to encourage overall health of students and to help students grow to become leaders in their community.

USC School Board member Brad Heggen asked if Emily Davis, Community and Economic Development Associate’s (CEDA) new workforce coordinator, would be assisting in the new program.

“Emily visited us on the Economic Development Authority (EDA) board last week and she said her job is to be working with both USC and Blue Earth Area. I think she would be a great resource for this,” said Heggen. Foley shared she would be reaching out to many different community partners for the youth development program over the summer.

When board member Tom Legred asked what ages would be incorporated to the program, Foley explained all students from pre-K to 12th grade would be involved, as well as parents and community groups.

The USC?School Board also:

Accepted the resignation of social studies teacher John Soucheray, and paraprofessionals Lindsay Chapman and Kathy Weyhrauch. They also accepted contracts for Taryn Eilertson, nurse, David Mosser, custodian, and Marissa Southwick, elementary teacher.

Considered and passed the revised 2019-20 school calendar designating emergency closing dates and changing the date of USC’s graduation ceremony, as well as the 2020-21 high school and elementary student handbooks.

Opened milk and bread bids for the 2020-21 school year.

Authorized their 2020-21 membership in the Minnesota State High School League.

Read and approved the revised Board Policy 6130 Graduation Requirements.