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Graduation ceremonies finalized

By Staff | May 31, 2020

Some members of BEA’s 2019 graduating class wore big smiles while getting close for a group picture. The current coronavirus pandemic has put restrictions on traditional ceremonies but schools are still finding ways to honor the graduating class. Both BEA and USC will have a parade for their graduates this year.

The era of COVID-19 has made it challenging for area high schools to plan graduation events for their seniors this year. Both Blue Earth Area and United South Central have had to change their plans many times due to restrictions caused by the current pandemic. But the two districts have come up with plans to allow the 2020 graduates to be recognized while still following government regulations.

A graduation ceremony for BEA graduates will take place on June 7, at 2 p.m., at the main parking lot in front of the BEA High School.

People who have symptoms related to the coronavirus should not attend.

The parking lot ceremony will be for the graduates and their immediate family (parents and siblings). Members of the general public may not attend.

Designated parking spots will be assigned to each graduate.

Attendees should remain in their individual vehicles but may roll down their windows.

The distribution of diplomas will have each graduate and family drive up to the front of the school. At that time the graduate will exit their vehicle and walk up to a stage to get their diploma (with no human contact). If students do not wish to leave their vehicle, their diplomas will be delivered to them. Students exiting their vehicles will be required to have waivers signed by their parents.

Graduating students will then move to an area where a photographer, designated by the school, will take their picture. These photographs will be made available to the students at a later date.

The graduates are being asked to wear their gowns and to bring their cap and tassel for the transferring of tassels.

Radio station KBEW 1560 AM will broadcast the ceremony live but there will be no live web streaming of the parking lot ceremony.

A video ceremony, which was recorded earlier, will be broadcast on Bevcomm TV and will be posted on the BEA school website at noon on June 7.

There will be a parade in Blue Earth following the parking lot ceremony. It will be led by the Blue Earth Fire department and the Faribault County Sherriff’s department.

The parade will begin at the high school parking lot and head west past the fairgrounds to Main Street. The parade will continue down Main Street to 14th Street and then head east to Rice Street which is where the parade will end.

The parade is estimated to begin at 2:50 p.m.

USC superintendent Keith Fleming says the school has plans in place for an indoor ceremony and an outdoor ceremony at Wells Concrete Stadium but unless the state changes their guidelines, USC will also be having a parking lot ceremony.

USC High School principal Kelly Schlaak states the graduation ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, June 6, at 2 p.m. In case of inclement weather, the back up date is Sunday, June 7, at noon. A virtual ceremony will be held if June 7 is also rained out.

Students will receive a parking pass to enter the USC school parking lot with their vehicle and may have whoever they want in the vehicle with them. The parking lot will not be open to the general public.

The student will have the option of exiting their vehicle and getting their diploma off a table (with no human contact), or they may have the diploma delivered to their car. If the student is going to exit the car to get their diploma, they must have a waiver signed by their parents.

Immediately following the graduation ceremony the students will line their cars up behind law enforcement vehicles and be led on a parade through town. Students may have signage identifying who is in the car as long as it does not interfere with the visibility of the driver. All students must remain in their cars during the parade.