COLUMBIA, S.C. — The coronavirus pandemic cost the South Carolina high school class of 2020 the end of their senior years. But school districts are working to make sure those seniors still get the time-honored graduation tradition.
School districts have begun announcing their plans. Some are choosing to do it in person but with restrictions and special safety guidelines while others are choosing to do a virtual version.
We're compiling a list here of each district's plan. This will be updated, so if you don't see your district on here, check back soon and it likely will be.
Richland County Schools
Richland One will hold its high school graduation ceremonies June 2-5 at the district’s football stadiums. Rain dates, if needed, will be June 8-9.
Each graduating senior will receive two tickets for family members to attend. According to the district, social distancing and other health and safety guidelines will be enforced.
The graduation ceremonies will be live streamed and recorded.
Richland One’s high school graduation ceremonies will be held as follows:
• Tuesday, June 2 – The Stadium at Lower Richland
Lower Richland High School – 8:00 a.m.
Richland One Middle College – 11:00 a.m.
• Wednesday, June 3 – Memorial Stadium
Dreher High School – 8:00 a.m.
A.C. Flora High School – 11:00 a.m.
• Thursday, June 4 – Bolden Stadium
C.A. Johnson High School – 8:00 a.m.
Columbia High School – 11:00 a.m.
• Friday, June 5 – The Stadium at W.J. Keenan
W.J. Keenan High School – 8:00 a.m.
Eau Claire High School – 11:00 a.m.
Graduating seniors from the Richland One Evening High School Program will
participate in their home schools’ graduation ceremonies.
Additional details will be communicated to seniors and parents, and will be posted on the district’s website.
The district will hold graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2020 on June 1-5 at Harry Parone Stadium, located on the campus of Spring Valley High School at 120 Sparkleberry Lane.
Ceremonies will begin at 8 a.m. each day. The schedule is as follows:
- June 1: Spring Valley
- June 2: Richland Northeast
- June 3: Blythewood
- June 4: Westwood
- June 5: Ridge View
Social distancing practices will be observed, and each graduate will be permitted two guests. Graduation ceremonies will again be streamed live online. More specifics will be shared with seniors and parents by each school as details are confirmed.
Only invited guests of each senior will be permitted to attend these ceremonies. Each graduation will be streamed live on the Richland Two website at https://livestream.com/richland2.
Kershaw County Schools
Friday May 29/Saturday May 30
The district, along with the high school principals believe the best option would be to keep the original graduation dates and follow social distancing guidelines.
Below are the dates for graduations, barring a major uptick in the curve and spike in new cases.
- North Central High School Friday, May 29, 2020 7:30 p.m. Football Stadium
- Camden High School Saturday, May 30, 2020 8:30 a.m. Zemp Stadium
- Lugoff-Elgin High School Saturday, May 30, 2020 9:45 a.m. Football Stadium
- Students will be limited to four tickets
- The stadiums will be set up to accommodate social distancing
- We will have specific entry procedures, again allowing for social distancing
- Before entering, guests will have their temperature checked and put on a mask (you may bring your own)
- We will live stream all three ceremonies
Lexington School District Two
Saturday, June 6 5 -7 p.m.
Lexington Two will offer virtual graduation events for each of our high schools, Airport and Brookland-Cayce. The district will set up graduation stages at school stadiums, as is done every year. Seniors have scheduled individual appointments to come back to the stadiums in early May. A professional photographer/videographer will get images in front of the stage of each student, in full cap and gown with diploma cover, along with his/her parents and the school principal. In a typical year, professional photos are taken only of individual graduates after they’ve crossed the stage, so this will be a special keepsake for district families.
The district plans to pre-record brief speeches from each school’s valedictorian, salutatorian, principal and other selected speakers, as well as from the district superintendent and board chair. All of the photos and videos will be used to create graduation presentations for each school. Each senior will receive a program and a copy of the graduation presentation for his/her school.
Lexington School District Three
Friday, May 29th, 7 p.m.
Lexington Three will host its 100th Commencement Ceremony in the district’s beloved Panther Stadium. Please make note that due to the Coronavirus, numerous additional rules will be implemented in an effort to keep our students, families and staff members healthy. These guidelines will be strictly enforced.
1. Each graduate will receive two tickets per the directive from state officials for family members and friends to attend the ceremony. Tickets will be required for admittance into Panther Stadium.
2. Each attendee will be required to sit in pre-marked areas that will be six feet apart. No more than one person will be allowed to sit in each area as we are required to practice social distancing per Governor Henry McMaster’s orders.
3. Sanitation Stations will be set up throughout Panther Stadium. We encourage attendees to frequently sanitize their hands and to avoid touching their faces, specifically their eyes, noses and mouths.
4. No more than three people will be allowed inside of the facility’s restrooms at a time.
5. Attendees will be dismissed in shifts in an effort to prevent large crowds from forming.
6. Due to social distancing guidelines, district officials request that families take group photos at home before or after the ceremony. Participants are reminded to maintain social distancing guidelines at all times inside of Panther Stadium and in the parking lot.
7. Graduates will be positioned several feet apart on the field in an effort to practice social distancing.
8. The ceremony will be live streamed via a variety of different methods. More information regarding this will be forthcoming.
9. In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will be moved into the Lexington
Three Fine Arts Center. The above mentioned rules will still apply.
Lexington School District Four
Friday, June 8, 8 a.m.
The event will be a Doug Bennett Stadium
In accordance with state guidelines, additional rules will be implemented.
- Per state guidelines, graduates will be limited to two tickets for immediate family members.
- Doug Bennett Stadium will be set up to accommodate social distancing for the graduates and families in attendance.
- Specific entry and exit procedures will be used to allow for social distancing.
- Sanitation stations will be set up throughout the stadium and restrooms will be monitored to ensure proper capacity.
District officials also request that families take group photos at home before or after the ceremony. All participants will be required to maintain social distancing guidelines at all times inside the stadium and in the stadium parking lot.
The ceremony will be live-streamed and recorded for those family members and friends unable to attend. In the event of inclement weather, an alternative ceremony plan will be enacted using the Lexington Four Fine Arts Center. This plan will require multiple ceremonies to ensure both social distancing and the ability of each graduate to maintain two family members in attendance.
Lex-Rich School District Five
Lexington-Richland School District Five will hold in-person, outdoor graduation ceremonies in early June, implementing social distancing and other health measures for graduates and their guests.
Ceremonies for Chapin High School, Dutch Fork High School, Irmo High School and Spring Hill High School will be held at the district’s three high school football stadiums during the first week of June.
Graduates will be allowed four guests, and ceremonies will be live streamed and recorded. Ceremonies in School District Five will follow the originally planned order but have new dates/times:
- Spring Hill High: 9 a.m. on Tuesday, June 2 at Chapin High School Stadium (Weather make-up time for SHHS is 7:30 p.m. on June 2)
- Chapin High: 9 a.m. on Wednesday, June 3 at Chapin High School Stadium (Weather make-up time for CHS is 7:30 p.m. on June 3)
- Dutch Fork High: 9 a.m. on Thursday, June 4 at Dutch Fork High School Stadium (Weather make-up time for DFHS is 7:30 p.m. on June 4)
- Irmo High: 9 a.m. on Friday, June 5 at Irmo High School Stadium (Weather make-up time for IHS is 7:30 p.m. on June 5)
Sumter School District
June 4, 5, 6
All Sumter School District virtual graduation ceremonies will be pre-recorded and telecast across various social media platforms. Each school will communicate with their graduates the specific information as it relates to their special ceremony.
During the virtual ceremonies, students will be able to celebrate at home with their families on the day and time of the regularly scheduled ceremonies:
- Sumter Career and Technology Center, June 4, 2020 at 6:00 PM
- Sumter Adult Education, June 4, 2020 at 7:30 PM
- Crestwood High School, June 5, 2020 at 9:00 AM
- Lakewood High School, June 5, 2020 at 1:00 PM
- Sumter High School, June 6, 2020 at 9:00 AM
In order to celebrate the Class of 2020 further, we are pleased to announce Crestwood High School, Lakewood High School, Sumter High School, Sumter Career and Technology Center, and Sumter Adult Education have purchased yard signs to honor every graduate. School leaders will communicate procedures for graduates to pick up their signs and other senior items through a celebratory pick-up line at each location scheduled for Tuesday, May 26, 2020.
Sumter School District will honor this important milestone in the lives of our seniors by placing graduation announcements in the Sumter Item featuring the names of all our graduates on the day of each virtual ceremony. In addition, Congratulations to the Class of 2020 billboards for Crestwood High School, Lakewood High School, Sumter High School, Sumter Career and Technology Center, and Sumter Adult Education will be featured throughout Sumter late May or early June. A banner has also been placed in front of the District Office to celebrate our graduates.
The week leading up to graduation, we will celebrate our graduates through Senior Spirit Week on social media. A Spirit Day icon will be posted each weekday at 9:00 AM from May 26-June 3 to honor our seniors on the @sumterSCschools Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. Students and parents may share their pictures directly on the post for the following theme days:
- Tuesday, May 26- School Spirit Day- Post a picture wearing your school colors.
- Wednesday, May 27- Athletic Spirit Day- Post a picture in your athletic gear or a picture from a sporting event.
- Thursday, May 28- Fine Arts Spirit Day- Post a picture that represents participation in the fine arts or appreciation for them.
- Friday, May 29- Future Friday- Post a picture of or quote that represents your plans after graduation i.e. college, military, or workforce.
- Monday, June 1- Memorable School Moment Day- Post a picture or quote that represents your most memorable school moment.
- Tuesday, June 2- Throwback Tuesday- Post a picture from your childhood.
- Wednesday, June 3- Cap and Gown Day- Post a picture in your cap and gown.