Graduation for the JHS class of 2021 is moving closer to a more normal look.
District 117 Superintendent Steve Ptacek announced changes to the proposed graduation plans for Jacksonville High School seniors today.
The district had planned for a combination of an outdoor ceremony at Kraushaar Rosenberger Field and a smaller indoor ceremony at The Bowl to accommodate both COVID restrictions and the desire for students to share their ceremony with both family and their classmates.
Ptacek says Illinois moving to the Bridge Phase of the Restore Illinois plan this Friday has a huge impact on graduation plans. He says that combined with early weather predictions, holding an outdoor graduation is becoming less likely.
Ptacek says there is a sizable chance of rain from the 16th through the 25th which could not only rain out the graduation event but also make setup for the event impossible or result in lasting damage to the field.
With the move to the Bridge Phase, Ptacek says they can now offer eight tickets to each graduating senior for an indoor ceremony held at The Bowl. He says based on the new allowances and the extremely close student vote, graduation will now move to an indoor ceremony on the regularly scheduled day of May 21st.
Some regular portions of the ceremony will not be observed, however. Ptacek says live music or singing will not be included and diplomas will be picked up from a table rather than the traditional hand delivery.
He says some other minor modifications may need to be made, and he will be sending out more information on the graduation ceremony plan in the next week. Ptacek says anyone attending the ceremony will be required to wear a mask, and the requirement is not negotiable.