HN to Hold Single Family In-Person Graduation Ceremony

Hardin Northern Local Schools intends to hold commencement on Sunday, May 17, 2020.

The school will be following the option of “Single Family in-person Graduation” that was given by the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Health. The option reads:

“Families are called into the auditorium one-by-one (no more than 10 people total including the school administrators), the student walks across the stage, receives a diploma and walks out of the auditorium and back to the car. The next family enters. Attention should be paid to disinfecting surfaces (door handles, hand railings, etc.) that may be repeatedly touched. Also, strict parking management and regulation is needed to prevent congregating in parking lots and outdoor locations. This can be done by appointment only to ensure a smooth process for all.”

The Hardin Northern Administration feels confident that the school can safely hold a single family in-person graduation ceremony that aligns with the state’s recommendations.

The process is as follows:

Graduates and families will have scheduled times for their portion of the commencement. They will also have designated parking to ensure social distancing.
One school official will greet the graduate and no more than five guests at the front door from a safe, social distance. The school official will then escort the student and family to the west entry door of the gym where there will be six chairs on the floor. The graduate and guests will then sit.

There will at no time be more than four school officials in the auditorium, the principal of the school will remain in the gym at all times. A board member will also be in the gym throughout the entirety of the ceremony. There will also be a camera person in the gym at all times to document the graduation for each student as well as a videographer to record for the final graduation video.

To start the ceremony, the principal will ask for everyone in the room to please rise for the playing of our National Anthem (played over a recording) and continue standing for the “Pledge of Allegiance”. This will only be done with the first graduate. It will be recorded for the final graduation video.

The Principal will make an opening statement to be recorded for the graduation video.

The graduate will be asked to stand and when their name is called, they will use the central steps to access the stage where their diploma will be on a stand. A board member and the principal will congratulate the graduate from a social distance. If the graduate is a member of the honor court, a parent will accompany them to the stage and place the honor court medallion on them. The graduate will then retrace their steps down to their seating. The graduate and the family will then exit the northwest exit of the gym, which is located near the cafeteria.

Upon leaving the gymnasium, graduates and their families will walk down the north corridor, then turn left down the west corridor, then turn right down the main hallway and will exit through exit door 6, by room 1509 (see diagram attached). They will then return to their designated parking spot and leave campus. No gatherings will be allowed in the parking lots. This order will be enforced by law enforcement.

Chairs will be disinfected between each family and graduate.

Once a graduate and their family exit the auditorium, another graduate will be allowed to enter the building using door 4 as shown in the diagram attached.

This will be on a 5-10 minute rotation and social distancing will be enforced at all times inside and outside of the building.

Hardin Northern will graduate 32 seniors and the estimated time for the ceremony is 3.5 to 5 hours, depending on efficiency of the ceremony’s process.

Upon conclusion of the program, all video clips of the graduates receiving their diplomas, the clip of the superintendent’s talk, principal’s talk, National Anthem, Pledge of Allegiance, senior song, and the Hall of Distinction recipient will be made into a final graduation video that will be made available to the public.