Greenville County Schools will hold in-person graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2020 at Bon Secours Wellness Arena the district announced on Thursday, May 13. The ceremonies will take place May 27-June 4. To comply with guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the State Department of Education, graduates will be only be allowed to bring up to two guests.
“We are extremely pleased to expand our partnership with Bon Secours in order to provide our 2020 graduates with the traditional graduation ceremony they have earned and so richly deserve,” superintendent Burke Royster said in a release. “I am grateful for the input we received from this year’s seniors and their parents.”
“Finding a way to celebrate their accomplishments in-person and in the company of their most honored guests, despite the necessary restrictions that are in place as the result of this pandemic, has been a focus of our work over the past few weeks,” Royster added.
Those attending the graduations will be required to observe social distancing, in line with Gov. Henry McMaster’s directive that school districts can hold commencement ceremonies if social distancing is maintained. In order to prevent the potential spread of the coronavirus at the events, the district said in a release that intensive cleaning, temperature screenings, utilizing personal protective equipment and other precautions will be used.
Graduations were originally scheduled for June 1-3 at both the Timmons Arena at Furman University and Bon Secours Wellness Arena. However, due to Furman closing its campus due to COVID-19, the district had to find a venue capable of hosting all 14 high school graduations that had the infrastructure in place for livestreaming and space to allow guests while maintaining social distancing.
“Given the size of Bon Secours Wellness Arena, the Greenville County School District is able to maintain social distancing guidelines and the tradition of graduating at The Well will continue with the Class of 2020,” said the arena’s general manager, Beth Paul.
The ceremonies are scheduled for 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day to allow for appropriate disinfecting between graduations.
Watch the graduations here | Class Acts: Celebrating the Class of 2020 Greenville County Schools
Wednesday, May 27
9:00 a.m. (Fine Arts Center) – Photo gallery
Thursday, May 28
9:00 a.m. (Southside High School) – photo gallery
5:00 p.m. (Greenville High School) – photo gallery
Friday, May 29
9:00 a.m. (Wade Hampton High School) – photo gallery
5:00 p.m. (JL Mann High School) – photo gallery
Saturday, May 30
9:00 a.m. (Riverside High School) – photo gallery
5:00 p.m. (Mauldin High School) – photo gallery
Monday, June, 1
9:00 a.m. (Blue Ridge High School) – photo gallery
5:00 p.m. (Hillcrest High School) – photo gallery
Tuesday, June 2
9:00 a.m. (Eastside High School) – photo gallery
5:00 p.m. (Greer High School) – photo gallery
Wednesday, June 3
9:00 a.m. (Woodmont High School) – photo gallery
5:00 p.m. (Berea High School) – photo gallery
Thursday, June 4
9:00 a.m. (Travelers Rest High School) – photo gallery
5:00 p.m. (Carolina High School) – photo gallery
Other precautions to maintain the health and safety of students, family, friends and district staff, according to the release, include:
- The district will provide gloves, masks, and hand sanitizer for all graduates and school personnel that are assisting with graduation. Students will be required to wear protective equipment until they are seated.
- Each ceremony will be live-streamed and recorded for the convenience of those who cannot be in attendance.
- Each guest will have an assigned seat. Guest seats for each graduate will be paired together an appropriate distance from other occupied seats.
- Seating priority will be based on random/lottery selection.
- To maximize floor space and minimize ceremony time and potential exposure, bands and choruses will not perform.
- All participants and guests must wear masks and undergo a temperature screening in order to participate. Those with a temperature at or above 100.4 degrees will not be allowed inside of Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
- There will be no processional, but students will march out in recess.
- All participants and guests must enter through appropriate portals and remain in assigned seats unless using the restroom facilities.
- Programs will be delivered electronically via backpack and student email, and will be available on school websites prior to graduation day. Graduates are the only individuals who will receive a printed program at the arena.
- Graduates and families will not be allowed to congregate within the arena or on the property outside. Individuals without tickets will not be allowed to enter the arena’s property prior to graduation or loiter outside the building to greet graduates after the ceremony.