graduation

East Union, Ingomar, Myrtle and West Union graduation ceremonies will look quite different when they take place in June.

The Union County School District released its plan for the ceremonies at each school Wednesday that includes a day time program for graduates and a limited number of family and an evening program for the seniors only.

Earlier this month, Union County announced that Myrtle's graduation ceremony will be on Monday, June 15, Ingomar's will be on Thursday, June 18, East Union's will be on Monday, June 22 and West Union's will be on Thursday, June 25. There had been discussion about holding the ceremonies on the baseball fields at Ingomar, Myrtle and West Union and on the football field at East Union, but at least some of the schools will hold the individual student recognition ceremonies in their gymnasiums.

According to the plan put forward, each school will have an individual student recognition program in the morning of its respective date. During this program, each graduate, along with family, will be allotted a limited amount of time to arrive at the gymnasium to be recognized.

"We've given each school flexibility how many students to allow in at a time," said Ken Basil, superintendent. "Depending on the school, they may recognize one student or two students at a time and it may be for 10 minutes or 20 minutes each."

Each graduate will be allowed 20 seats for family during their time slot. Graduates and their family members are required to wear face masks and maintain social distancing during the ceremony.

The individual student recognition program will begin at 9 a.m. at Ingomar, West Union and East Union and at 11 a.m. at Myrtle on each school's graduation date.

Each school will also hold a closed graduation ceremony for high school seniors only at 8 p.m. on the same date. This ceremony will be livestreamed on the school district's Facebook page and also recorded.

Basil said the school district's administrators have been working on a plan for graduation for a month or more.

"We had another plan, but we had to start over after the Mississippi Department of Education released its guidelines," he said. "Windy Faulkner, Russell Taylor and all of our principals worked hard and came up with this new plan. I think we have done what was best for our students, because they come first and I'm proud of their work."

Basil went on to say that plans could change again by the time these graduation dates approach.

"There is a possibility that we may have to rethink this plan too," he said.

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