Polk County High School to hold modified graduation ceremony on June 5 in Tennant Stadium

Polk County High School will hold its 2020 commencement exercises on Friday, June 5 at 6 p.m. in G.M. Tennant Stadium.

Per Executive Orders of Governor Roy Cooper as well as guidance from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and N.C. Department of Public Instruction, Polk County Schools will not be able to have “traditional” graduation ceremonies for seniors. Polk County Schools has worked closely with local and state health departments as well as local government agencies to develop a plan that adheres to the following guidelines set forth by the Governor’s Executive Order No. 141:

  • While outside the home, individuals must maintain at least six (6) feet of distancing from other individuals with the exception of family and household members
  • Face coverings should be worn outdoors when six (6) feet spacing cannot be maintained
  • Stay at home if sick
  • Mass gatherings are prohibited that exceed twenty-five (25) individuals
  • School officials/staff are not counted in the mass gathering limit
  • Drive-in events are exempt from the mass gathering restrictions as long as individuals stay in their vehicles

The district is committed to celebrating the graduates as best as possible given current restrictions due to the global coronavirus pandemic. With those limits in mind, Polk County Schools has planned an event that will allow all seniors to graduate together and families to view commencement in person.

Details of the ceremony include:

Graduation will be conducted in a hybrid, drive-in style in the stadium of Polk County High School. Each student will be allowed to be accompanied by no more than two (2) vehicles of guests. Single vehicles cannot exceed a gross weight of 10,000 lbs. Trailers of any kind are not permitted, nor are buses, RVs, dump trucks, etc. Passengers must remain in their vehicles at all times

Procedures / Guidelines
Please adhere to the directions of police and school officials at all times.

Arrive on PCHS campus during your prescribed times with graduate in cap/gown:
* Last names beginning with “A” through “L” – arrive at 6 p.m.
* Last names beginning with “M” through “Y” – arrive at 7:15 p.m.

Please consolidate down to two vehicles prior to arriving on campus.

Follow signage and proceed through from the front of the school to the student parking area.

Stop at the first checkpoint to ensure two vehicles per graduate and that the vehicles are aligned together in the line. Tune car radios to 100.1 FM to hear a message from the principal and speeches from honor speakers.

Vehicles will be permitted, 10 at a time, into the stadium area and should follow signage to proceed onto the track (see images below).

At the final checkpoint along the track near the home side, vehicles will unload 10-12 graduates** at a time as directed by event personnel. Graduates should proceed to the staging area on the field for their ceremony.

Vehicles will then be directed to park facing the stage.

Each graduate will cross the stage, receive their diploma and have their picture taken while parents and families view from their vehicles. Once the group has completed this, they will be confirmed as graduates and return to their family vehicles.

Vehicles will exit the stadium in a timely manner, so the next group of graduates can then proceed to receive their diplomas.

**We cannot guarantee that a pre-arranged party of graduates will be able to graduate together. We thank you in advance for your understanding and patience with us in this process.

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