POCAHONTAS, Ark- When news that high schools’ graduations across the state would have to be cancelled, the Pocahontas School District knew when the time was right, they wanted to give their seniors that final recognition.
Now that graduations are allowed to take place, the district knew they needed to start planning right away.
“It was drop everything and get this planned,” Pocahontas Schools Superintendent Jerry Martens. “Cause we needed to get word out to all the graduates because a lot of them are they’re working, or they’re off on vacation. So, we wanted to get the word out as quickly as possible.”
Superintendent Martens says they had to submit their plan to the Arkansas Department of Education for approval.
With the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the state, the school must follow state rules to host the event.
He says temperature checks will be done.
If a person has a fever, they will not be allowed in.
Everyone in attendance including graduates and the school board will be required to wear mask.
“Six feet distance in between everybody when they’re walking in,” says Superintendent Martens. “That goes for guests and students so the students will be seated six feet apart on the football field. We had to tape off every other bleacher to get six feet distance between the patrons.”
Superintendent Martens they have received mix reactions from graduates, but most saying they are excited about the event.
Tickets will be required, with each graduate receiving nine.
He says cancelling graduations was hard for some students, so he says happy to offer this as they enter the next chapter of their lives.
“They’re very excited, thankful that we did that for them," says Superintendent Martens. "A lot of schools I’ve heard decided not to. Ya know it’s a risk. We can only have 2/3rd’s capacity even though it’s an outdoor venue. I think it will help them look back on their senior year a little bit more fondly like at least they were able to do this.”
The graduation will be held July 13th at 7 pm in the Pocahontas High School football stadium.
Superintendent Martens says he’s very thankful to the high school principal and the Arkansas Department of Education for giving them this opportunity to host a graduation.