Commencement will be held for MHS seniors Friday

Glenn Parrish
Not open for seating. Plans for Friday's graduation for the Magazine High School Class of 2020 at Diamondback Arena include areas where attendees will not be permitted to sit.

The Magazine School District will have a formal graduation for its Class of 2020 graduates at 7 p.m. on Friday night, July 10 at Diamondback Arena.

The commencement, however, will not be a fully traditional event.

Superintendent of schools Dr. Beth Shumate said an analysis of the arena found that at two-third capacity the school could host 861 people, but that cannot be accomplished with social distancing.

“The problems is when you social distance that cuts that number, so there’s a total of 396 seats available,” said Shumate.

That, divided by the possible number of graduates, left about 12 tickets per graduate.

“The graduates and those sitting on the floor do not count,” said Shumate. “But the parents cannot sit on the floor this year because of social distance — we can’t get everybody down there. Faculty and board members will sit down there and graduates will sit down there.”

Scholarships will be announced, but not presented because of the same limitations.

“The guidelines say we have to sanitize before or after each speaker so we can’t do all the speakers,” said Shumate. “There will be one person read the scholarships.”

Traditional presenters are being permitted to be present and stand when their scholarship is announced, Shumate added.

The band will also not be playing the processional and recessional, which will be handled electronically.

Shumate said the school is trying to verify which and which students will not be attending among the 34 who could participate but three or four have confirmed to officials they will not be there.

The class was recognized at a baccalaureate service and picked up their diplomas in a drive-through event in front of the gym on May 22, which was followed by a quick parade through the downtown area.

A prom was scheduled for July 11, but that event will not be held, Shumate said.