High school seniors who attend Carroll County Public Schools will receive their diplomas at the Carroll County Agricultural Center during the first week of June.
The school system released the times and locations of graduation ceremonies on Thursday and the Agriculture Center’s Danele Shipley Memorial Arena, will hold at least two ceremonies a day from June 1 through 3. High school graduations are scheduled for:
Liberty, June 1, 10 a.m.
Francis Scott Key, June 1, 2 p.m.
Winters Mill, June 2, 10 a.m.
Century, June 2, 2 p.m.
Manchester Valley, June 3, 10 a.m.
Westminster, June 3, 2 p.m.
South Carroll, June 3, 6 p.m.
The county’s smaller schools will utilize various facilities.
Gateway School will have a certificate ceremony at Westminster High School May 26 at 7 p.m. Carroll Springs will have a graduation in the CCPS building May 27 at 7 p.m. and the Transition Connections Academy will have its graduation at Carroll Community College on May 28 at 10 a.m.
Although some senior traditions have been altered or canceled because of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, like prom, the school system made the decision to resume graduation. School officials announced at a board meeting this year that graduation would look similar to traditional ceremonies after having an adjusted graduation last school year.
Eric King, director of high schools, said there were two other options for the graduation sites: the high school football stadiums and McDaniel College’s facilities.
He said the high school fields are not suitable for a graduation ceremony and it would have been challenging to provide the equipment needed for each school.
“It’s not as easy as it sounds and it’s undeniably expensive,” he said.
The weather would have also caused too many issues. A wet field could make for a messier affair, he said. And a single bolt of lightening would cause a half hour delay for the ceremony. He noted how unpredictable June thunderstorms can be.
“McDaniel bent over backwards to try to work with us,” he said.
One difference for this year’s ceremony is there will not be instrumental groups. They would not be able to fit while keeping a safe distance and not all music students are attending classes in person, so practicing would be impossible, King said.
However, speeches and recognitions will continue and the ceremonies are expected to last around 90 minutes. Graduation practice will occur, though it might be shorter this year, and graduates and families will be seated at least 3 feet apart.