Kansas school districts prepare for return of in-person graduations

Published: Apr. 30, 2021 at 6:51 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Across Kansas, high school seniors will soon be in their caps and gowns, walking across a stage. While it may not look like a normal year, many districts say they’re just glad to be holding in-person graduation ceremonies. Districts who spoke with Eyewitness News about graduation plans say changes from a “normal year” include a mask requirement, separating families and limiting the number of available tickets.

To help with spacing, the Andover school district is holding outdoor graduations.

“We’re asking families to socially distance in the stands by families. On the field, the students will be about six feet apart,” Andover Central High School Assistant Principal Amanda Grier explained. “We’ll have about 16 to 20 rows, depending on which school, since both schools (Andover and Andover Central) will have graduations here.”

Wichita Public Schools will be utilizing Century II and Charles Koch Arena at Wichita State University. Students are given limited tickets, depending on their class size.

“In order for you to enter into any of our graduation ceremonies, you will have to have a mask on,” said Wichita Public Schools Executive Director for Secondary Schools Brandon Johnson. “You will also have to have a ticket to get in and in the ceremony, we ask that you socially distance away from other families, that you sit with your own family and you maintain your mask on throughout the entire ceremony.”

Other Wichita area school districts are doing the same. In the Haysville school district, Campus High School will have its graduation at Koch Arena. Masks will be required and no family members are allowed on the floor. With Derby, only eight tickets are allowed for family per student.

You can visit your district’s website for more information on what will be required at graduation.

“It means so much to the high school experience to have those things,” Johnson said. “So, we’re really excited to put out cap and gowns on, got to our gymnasiums and celebrate our seniors who have don so much over their 13 years (in school).”

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