South Bend Schools Plan To Hold In-Person Graduation Ceremony At Four Winds Field

May 21, 2020

Four Winds Field
Credit WVPE File Photos

The South Bend Community School Corporation announced Thursday it’s seniors will have an in-person graduation ceremony late this summer.

It will be held outdoors at Four Winds Field on July 24th and 25th for all five high schools in the district. Some restrictions will be in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Including limiting the amount of guests each graduate can bring to the ceremony, keeping families six feet apart, and requiring people to wear masks when entering and leaving the venue.

South Bend Schools officials ask those in high-risk groups not attend the in-person graduation and watch the live stream instead.

Superintendent Todd Cummings said in a press release the school corporation worked closely with local health officials to develop the plan. He says the district will be enforcing the COVID-19 guidelines.

(Read full release below)
South Bend Community School Corporation Superintendent Dr. Todd Cummings announced today that the district will hold in-person, outdoor graduation ceremonies at Four Winds Field for the five SBCSC high schools on Friday, July 24 and Saturday, July 25. Rain date is Sunday, July 26 for all schools.

Cummings made the announcement from the pitcher’s mound at Four Winds Field, along with Dr. Mark Fox, Deputy Health Officer at the St. Joseph County Health Department; the principals from each high school; John Anella, President of the School Board of Trustees; Leslie Wesley, Vice President of the Board of Trustees; and Stephanie Ball,  Board member.

“After weeks of close coordination and consultation with our local health officials as well as guidance from the Governor’s office, we are very happy to announce that we can honor our Class of 2020 with in-person, outdoor graduations ceremonies later this summer,” Cummings said.

The corporation will enforce strict health protocols to ensure that all measures are taken to limit the risk of exposure to COVID 19. Among those measures includes limiting the number of guests each student may invite to either 2 or 4, depending on the size of the graduating class;  seating graduates at least six feet apart;  grouping family members together and ensuring each family group sits six feet apart; mandating that masks, provided by the corporation, are worn while entering and exiting the venue; requiring every guest, upon entering the venue, to use the hand sanitizing stations set up at each entrance; and requesting that those people in high-risk groups not attend the event and instead watch the live stream.

“In collaboration with Dr. Mark Fox of the County Health Department, we have carefully and thoughtfully developed a four-page health and safety protocol document for these ceremonies that we plan to enforce for the safety of everyone in attendance,” Cummings said.

The schedules for the graduations are:

Dress rehearsals - Thursday, July 23, 2020 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m;

 

John Adams High School - Friday, July 24, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. (doors open at 5:45 p.m.)

Washington High School - Saturday, July 25, 2020 9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. (doors open at 8:30 a.m.)

Clay High School - Saturday, July 25, 12:00 p.m.- 1:00 p.m. (doors open at 11:30)

RISE UP Academy - Saturday, July 25, 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. (doors open at 2:00 p.m.)

Riley High School - Saturday, July 25, 5:00 p.m.- 6:30 p.m. (doors open at 4:30 p.m.)