Stories by Taylor Boyd
Henry County Schools have set the dates for graduation ceremonies.
The ceremony for Bassett High School’s Class of 2021 will be held on Friday, May 21 at 7 p.m.
Magna Vista High School’s Class of 2021 will march on Saturday, May 22 at 9 a.m.
The ceremonies are not open to the public.
Students at each school will receive three tickets for guests which contain instructions about arrival time, according to Monica Hatchett, director of Communications and Organizational Learning.
Ceremonies will be held on the football field of each school, and groups will be seated 6-feet from each other, she added.
Visitors “can sit within their own family pod, of course. We do ask for everyone to wear a mask,” she said, adding students also will follow social distance guidelines on the field.
Hatchett said the ceremonies will also be broadcast online on the Henry County Public Schools Facebook page for those unable to attend.
In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony for Bassett High School will be moved to Saturday, May 22 and Magna Vista moved to Sunday, May 23.
Hatchett said she does not know if those ceremonies would be held at the same time.
“I think Magna Vista would certainly look at a different time. They want to be respectful for families who attend church, so their rain time would probably be the afternoon on Sunday,” she said.
Hatchett added that the division would make the call to switch to the rain-day schedule within a couple of hours of the ceremony, if needed.
“They would try to hold off as long as they could to make that decision because obviously making alternative plans is much more difficult for families. We would like to stick to those originally scheduled times if we’re able to,” she said.
Martinsville’s Class of 2021 to graduate May 22
The graduation ceremony for Martinsville High School’s Class of 2021 is set to be held on Saturday, May 22 at 10 a.m. on the football field. Seniors are asked to arrive at 8:30 a.m.
Seniors will receive three tickets for guests. Only ticket holders will be allowed on the school premises for commencement, Parker Gunn, community outreach coordinator for the school system, said.
Guests will be seated in both stands of the field bleachers, with each group 6-feet from the other groups. Gunn said the social distancing rules will also apply for the students on the field.
“With it being outside, of course we are going to be following the CDC’s (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines. Everybody will be wearing a mask, students and families included. As families arrive, we will take temperatures of everybody before they enter,” he said.
“We hope to provide” a livestream of the ceremony “for those family members who may prefer to stay at home,” he said.
Following graduation, a Senior Victory Lap will be held, Gunn said.
“Our seniors have had a challenging year, they’ve persevered, they’ve done fantastic work, and of course we want to celebrate their milestone and accomplishment as best we can. They deserve all the attention and celebrations for what they’ve had to endure,” he said.
Gunn said the lap is set to begin 30 minutes after the end of the graduation ceremony to give family members time to head over to either Main or Church streets to watch the student procession.
The lap will commence at the high school and continue through uptown Martinsville before ending at Market Street.
Only seniors may participate in the victory lap. They may carpool, providing all traffic laws are followed. If seniors do not have transportation, a driver’s license, or have other extenuating circumstances, they may ride with a parent or guardian.
“Seniors are encouraged to decorate their cars with Martinsville school spirit, or whatever they would like,” Gunn said.
Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell will provide a pace car to lead the lap.
“Once the drive-thru ends, families and students are free to go about their day,” Gunn said.
In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony and activities will be held at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 28, on the football field.
Carlisle School seniors to graduate May 28
The ceremony for Carlisle School’s Class of 2021 is set to be Friday, May 28 at 6 p.m., in the school quad at the traditional graduation location.
The school has not released information regarding ticket restrictions, rules for graduation, or alternative dates in case of inclement weather.
While tickets will be limited, the ceremony will be livestreamed on the Carlisle School Facebook and YouTube pages.