Meigs Local announces graduation, end of year plans

By Sarah Hawley -

While school buildings remain closed due to COVID-19, Meigs Local is making plans for a virtual graduation.

While school buildings remain closed due to COVID-19, Meigs Local is making plans for a virtual graduation.

ROCKSPRINGS — Meigs Local School District has announced plans for a “virtual graduation” as well as plans for students to turn in assignments and pick up items they may have left at school.

The virtual graduation will be filmed in mid-May and released online during the originally scheduled graduation time at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 22. Graduates will also be provided with a copy of the video and a cap and gown photo. Details on the reporting of scholarships and other senior awards are being discussed.

Supt. Scot Gheen provided the following release concerning graduation:

After communication with the Meigs Local Board of Education and administration, current graduation plans for Meigs High School Seniors have been made. The decisions implemented during this unfortunate time were based upon several things, but mainly the safety and wellbeing of our students and family members. The decision was made in compliance with ODE, ODH, and the Governor’s order.

Governor DeWine, during his press conference on Monday, April 20, stated, “the gathering of significant numbers of people is a dangerous situation. Just as schools have been innovative in regard to how to teach from a distance, I know that they will be innovative as they look at how…they honor the students…” We are asking the education community to come together and honor our students, especially our seniors, in a manner that doesn’t pose health risks to anyone. Schools should continue to recognize the importance of restrictions on mass gatherings, and events should be aligned with the Ohio Department of Health’s Order.

With current orders, a virtual ceremony will be created and released on the original date. An additional date of June 26 has been set as a possible recognition/appreciation day for the class pending Governor and ODH social distancing orders, various limitations, restrictions, and overall safety of a probable event.

A virtual ceremony will hopefully assist students required to have diplomas in hand early to join the military, various workforce occupations, or leaving for college. We can make sure these requirements are met for each student and still comply with all current state orders and safety procedures.

The virtual option would be as follows. Each Meigs High School graduating senior will walk across the stage and receive a diploma. During the week of May 11-15, each senior and up to four family members will have a scheduled time to report to the High School Gym. Each senior will have a cap and gown picture taken, as well as a short video receiving the diploma. The school district will ensure each student receives a picture and DVD/Flash drive of the full edited production once complete.

The high school will start contacting students beginning Wednesday, April 29 with time slots and further directions. Additional information will be forthcoming regarding the procedure. The process will be staggered to ensure social distancing and gathering orders are met. Please do not show up until a time slot is provided and verified by the administration. Please do not bring more than the four family members as mentioned earlier. The members can watch the walk and take photos. The whole video and picture should only take a few minutes and there will be directions as each party shows up.

The video will be edited together into a full graduation ceremony, which will also include:

• Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance

• Roll Call and announcements

• Recognition of the Valedictorian, Salutatorian and Top Ten

• Speeches from the Valedictorian, Salutatorian, and administration.

• Senior pictures from childhood

When completed, the video will be streamed on the website, Facebook, and YouTube on May 22, 2020, at 8 p.m., the original graduation date, pending any technical difficulties. The class of 2020 will be remembered for many accolades, but mainly for the sacrifices and obstacles they have overcome.

Additional K-12 updates

Supt. Gheen stated that letter grades will not be assigned for the fourth nine weeks/third trimester. Instead, students will receive “participation accreditation” for promotion and retention options.

The district will be setting up a time for students to drop off assignments, with most buildings to begin the process the week of May 11.

While specific details will be provided in upcoming “all calls” for each building, each building is expected to have totes and tables set up for the drop off of assignments, as well as any textbooks or other school items which should be returned to the school. Totes should be labeled for each grade. Times for these drop offs will be announced in the all calls.

Items from lockers are being bagged up by locker number to be collected when dropping off assignments. Similar action will happen with items in desks.

Weekly meal pick up will continue through April 29 at the elementary and middle school, with pick up moving to the elementary only beginning in May.

While school buildings remain closed due to COVID-19, Meigs Local is making plans for a virtual graduation. school buildings remain closed due to COVID-19, Meigs Local is making plans for a virtual graduation.

By Sarah Hawley

Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.

Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.