Principals collaborate with students, teachers on in-person HS graduation plans

HCS students weigh in on what in-person graduations should look like

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - High schools in Horry County are figuring out ways to hold in-person graduations while maintaining social distancing.

The Horry County School Board approved of in-person commencement during Monday’s night’s virtual meeting.

Students at some high schools are already discussing ways with teachers and their principals.

Jennings Hall, the senior class secretary at North Myrtle Beach High School, said currently they’re considering holding two kinds of ceremonies students can choose between.

One would be on the school’s football field for students who want to walk with their class. Those students would be allowed two invitations for family members to attend.

The other ceremony would take place in the school’s auditorium for graduates to walk individually, and they would be able to invite more relatives to attend.

These are just ideas at the moment, but Hall said they hope to come up with a safe plan for everyone to celebrate the class of 2020.

"There are a select few that were worried about the safety of it,” Hall said. “That plan with going to the auditorium with just your family would be something that they could still walk across the stage, receive their diploma and not have to worry about catching the virus.”

Miranda Sullivan, a Myrtle Beach High School senior, suggested her school split commencement into multiple ceremonies so students can still have family members present while social distancing.

She echoed the same sentiments about concerns from a few students on whether it’s safe for relatives who are elderly to attend, but overall she and her peers are excited about getting the kind of graduation they deserve.

"It really made me happy that we all can have that one special moment to feel the real graduation and not online,” Sullivan said.

“Not being able to participate in prom or senior skip day or any of the fun things we get to do as seniors is really heartbreaking,” Hall said. “But, to have this graduation brings a little more normalcy back to what we’ve already lost.”

Initially, high school graduations for Horry County were set for June 2 and June 3. Whether schools will stick with those dates is yet to be decided.

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