Schools Planning Graduation on Football Fields

Schools Planning Graduation on Football Fields


Graduation for the Class of 2020 will take place this weekend for two of Washington County schools, with one more on July 18. 

All three local ceremonies will be held outdoors at each school’s football field. 

West Washington High School will be holding their graduation on Friday, July 10 at 8:30p at Art Sanders Field. A rain date for this Sunday evening has been set. 

Graduation practice will be at 5p on Friday. Superintendent Keith Nance said students should gather by the football locker room with their caps, gowns, tassels, and PPE. 

“Practice will last approximately 1.5 hours,” said Nance. Pictures will be taken during this time. Students should bring a check or money to order pictures at that time. 

Nance said the ceremony will require a few changes in order to comply with the CDC guidelines and Indiana’s recent Stage 4.5.

“We received clarification from the health department that we can gather large than 250 in an outdoor space as long as we follow the social distancing guidelines,” said Nance. 

Nance said each graduate would be allowed to invite 10 guests. 

He also reminds those in attendance that just because the event is outdoors does not change the need for social distancing and PPE. 

Masks are encouraged to be worn. 

Nance said there would be space available on the track for those that want to bring their own chairs. 

He said nobody would be allowed on the football field. 

The event will be streamed live on social media. 

Salem High School’s outdoor ceremony will be Saturday, July 11 at 10a on Paul A. Graves Athletic Field.   

According to Senior Class Sponsor and High School Counselor Jennifer Martin, here are the expectations for the ceremony: 

  • Students will be sitting on the folding chairs located on the track/football field.  Student chairs will be 6’ apart.
  • Students will be limited to 7 tickets for their guests to attend the ceremony.  Student Guests will be expected to sit in the home bleachers or bring folding chairs and blankets beside the bleachers in the grassy area.  The use of towels or blankets is recommended on the bleachers.  Parents and guests are reminded to stay off the field and track during and after the ceremony.  
  • All students, faculty, staff, and guests attending will be requested to wear masks, keep social distance as to protect themselves and others.
  • There will be gloves worn in the distribution of the diplomas.  There will not be any handshakes or hugs during the presentation of the diplomas.
  • The expectations of entering and exiting the football field will be shared with the seniors at the practice prior to the ceremony. 
  • The practice will be held at 10:00 AM on Friday, July 10th, 2020.  Seniors should meet in the Brooks Gymnasium.  Please enter Door 1.
  • The Washington County Health Department requests no balloons or signs present at the ceremony.

The graduation ceremony will be filmed and live-streamed for others to observe the ceremony from outside the venue. 

The rain date has been set for Tuesday, July 14th at 7:30 PM.  

The decision to postpone to a rain date will be made by 7:00 AM on Saturday.

The Band and Choir will not be expected to perform with the limited attendance. 

The students will have 4 speakers to the group and the presentation of the class to earn diplomas on the stage. 

The closing of the ceremony will be an exit to the outside parking lots and other grassy areas.  


Eastern is planning its outside ceremony on Friday, July 17 at 8p on the football field. 

Graduation practice is set for Thursday, July 16 at 7p on the field. There will be a celebration planned for after that practice. 

The rain date is Saturday, July 18 at 8p. 

According to Superintendent Dennis Stockdale, if graduation does not take place on either date, the ceremony will take place on the next available day at 8p. 

Graduates will meet in the middle school cafeteria at 7p. Graduates should enter through door #20. 

Graduates will be allowed to decorate caps and should bring it for approval to the graduation practice on July 16. 

Graduation chairs will be placed a minimum of six feet apart on the field and students are not recommended to wear high heeled shoes. 

Graduates in the band and choir will be participating in the graduation. 

Stockdale said family members may sit together in the bleachers, on the track and on the football field but social distancing between other families will be required. 

Face masks are encouraged, per CDC and Indiana guidelines. 

Hand sanitizer will be available. 

“We suggest that everyone bring lawn chairs or blankets to graduation,” said Stockdale. “The school will not be providing chairs for seating on the track or football field. Seating in the bleachers will be on a first-come, first-serve basis.”

Home bleachers will have no more than 400 people allowed and visitor bleachers will have no more than 50 people allowed.