COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) — Colorado Springs District 11 graduations will be held at Gary Berry Stadium for the Class of 2021.
District officials said many students’ parents have graduated from the same stadium themselves, and though the ceremonies are expected to be a nostalgic experience, it still won’t be like those pre-covid. But officials are hopeful for some leniency on guidelines compared to last year.
District 11 has around 1,600 seniors graduating this year. Each high school will have its own separate ceremony.
As of now, students will be allowed two guests each, but officials are hopeful they’ll be able to invite more.
If the El Paso County Health Department gives the green light, guests will be seated three feet apart this year versus six, as that’s what the district has been practicing in the classroom.
District officials are also hoping students will actually get to participate in the symbolic handing-over of the diploma. Last year, students already had their diplomas in hand as they walked across the stage.
District 11 officials said the big difference this year is they’ve been working directly with the county health department to map out what graduation looks like. Last year they had to submit variances to get approval for their graduations.
District 11 officials said they are also envisioning what proms will look like. As of now, timing may be an issue.
“Some of our proms were originally scheduled to be held where it could potentially impact students that are graduating,” said Devra Ashby, Chief Communications Officer for District 11. “It was within that fourteen-day quarantine period where if at prom they were exposed or had an outbreak at one of the proms, it would impact our graduation ceremonies and those students would have to quarantine.”
Academy District 20 is also making plans for its graduation ceremonies. The district has around 1,800 students who will graduate from seven different schools.
District officials are planning graduations based on the county health department’s guidance for county’s in level yellow. If El Paso County moves to a less restrictive phase before then, officials said they will adjust their plans accordingly.
Officials said they are expecting a planning document for senior events from the state department of public health by as soon as Friday.