Darlington County School District announces plans for in-person graduations

Pee Dee

DARLINGTON COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — The Darlington County School District (DCSD) announced Thursday they will be holding in-person graduation ceremonies for all four high schools in the district.

The ceremonies will take place on June 2 at 9:00 a.m. for Darlington High School, Hartsville High School, and Lamar High School at their respective football stadiums, DCSD said. Mayo High School for Math, Science & Technology will have their ceremony on June 2 at 11:30 a.m. at the football stadium at Darlington High School.

The ceremonies will be live-streamed, and each high school will also make a special virtual graduation program as a backup and keepsake for the seniors.

“We know how important a graduation ceremony is for our students and families,” district Superintendent, Dr. Tim Newman said. “Over the past few weeks, we have explored dozens of ideas for graduation ceremonies. It is an experience of a lifetime, but we are in times like no other. We are trying to provide a memorable experience in a safe, healthy environment, while following the guidelines of the governor, DHEC, and the state department of education.”

New guidelines will be implemented at the stadiums to keep everyone safe, including:

  • All graduates will receive two tickets for friends and family, as recommended by the SC Department of Education
  • Each attendee will be required to sit in pre-marked, pre-assigned seating areas that will be six feet apart in the stands. Seats will be assigned by a lottery drawing
  • Attendees are encouraged to wear masks. Those that do not have masks will be provided masks at graduation
  • Handwashing stations and hand sanitizer will be available at the stadiums
  • The graduation will be live-streamed for those who are unable to attend
  • In the event of inclement weather, the graduations will be moved to June 3

Each high school, in addition to the in-person ceremony, will create a digital graduation program. Seniors will be allowed to bring up to four guests for the filming, DCSD said. Seniors will be filmed walking across the state in full graduation attire and accepting their awards before taking a picture with their guests. This will happen at scheduled times. When one group is finished, they will leave and another group will enter.

The district will provide more information to graduates and their families in the near future. The district also notes that plans can change in response to any directives from the governor.

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