In-Person Graduation Exercises (Updated)

Jun
25
Date: 
Thursday, June 25, 2020 to Friday, June 26, 2020

HCS Presents Enhanced Graduation Plan

Huntsville City Schools (HCS) administrators are enhancing plans for graduation events set for June 25-26, 2020 at the Von Braun Center (VBC).

Students will now be seated, walk across stage to receive their diplomas, and return to their seats for the remainder of the ceremony. Schools will provide students with four additional tickets allowing each student to have eight guests in attendance. HCS also invites guests to remain at their seats for the entire ceremony.

Grissom and Huntsville High will host an additional graduation ceremony to accommodate for social distancing among students and guests. Principals will share more information with families regarding ticket distribution and additional ceremonies.

The district is announcing the updates following discussions with VBC officials in an effort to provide students the opportunity to witness their friends graduate while also promoting a safe and healthy environment for students and guests.  HCS leaders thank VBC officials for welcoming the district’s students and families into the venue while working in conjunction to promote a safe and healthy environment.  

Location

The graduation ceremony will be held at the Von Braun Center located at 700 Monroe Street, Huntsville, Alabama 35801, in the Arena. This wonderful venue provides the necessary seating to allow for social distancing while limiting exposure to heat and weather.

Ceremony Dates and Times
June 25, 2020
  • 10:00 a.m. | New Century High School
  • 2:00 p.m. | Lee High School
  • 5:00 p.m. | Grissom High School (Ceremony 1)
  • 7:00 p.m. | Grissom High School (Ceremony 2)
June 26, 2020
  • 10:00 a.m. | Jemison High School
  • 2:00 p.m. | Columbia High School
  • 5:00 p.m. | Huntsville High School (Ceremony 1)
  • 7:00 p.m. | Huntsville High School (Ceremony 2)
Admission Tickets

Each graduate will receive eight (8) non-transferrable tickets for family members and guests.  Each person must have a ticket.

While it is our preference to not require tickets and to allow as many guests as possible, we must follow all established guidelines to maintain the safety of our students and guests.   The VBC is only allowed to host an event at 50% capacity while observing the 6-ft social distancing requirement.  Thank you for your support in making this accommodation so that we are able to host this in-person event.

Entrance Times, Seating, and Permissible Items

Gates will open one (1) hour prior to the ceremony start time.  We recommend that families and guests arrive together with tickets in hand.  Families and guests will report to the main area entrance of the Arena and will be seated at the direction of the ushers.  Seat selection is very limited and is left to the ushers.  The ushers will seat guests in a way that all allow for social distance rules to be followed. Please do not remove any seating barriers. 

All guests must follow the Von Braun Center search, security, and prohibited items policies which can be found on VBC security website.

Graduates

Graduates should arrive at least one (1) hour prior to the ceremony start time and use the Von Braun Center’s Box Office entrance to access East Hall 1 & 2.  Graduates should wear a mask in the staging area and arrive dressed for the ceremony.  Each graduate will check-in at the health and wellness station and will proceed through the COVID19 screening and temperature assessment.  Graduates must pass the health and wellness assessment to participate in the ceremony.  Upon completion of the health assessment, graduates will line up according to the instructions given by their school leadership and VBC personnel.

Each school will communicate appropriate dress requirements in order to participate in the ceremony.

Program and Time

Each ceremony will last no more than sixty (60) minutes.  To be efficient with time, the ceremony will consist of the following:  Pledge of Allegiance/National Anthem, Welcome, Announcement of Graduate Names, Distribution of Diplomas, Exit Stage, Photo Opportunity, Exit Arena, & Turning of the Tassel Ceremony.

Parking

Parking is available throughout downtown, to include both city lots and VBC designated parking areas.  Please view the parking map included in the e-mail and the Von Braun Center’s website for more details.  The cost for parking is $10 in most locations.

Live-Streaming of the Ceremony

ETV will broadcase the ceremonies live here on the website, on the Huntsville City Schools Facebook Page, over-the-air on channel 25.5, as well as on WOW! Cable channel 3 and Comcast Cable channel 17, so that family members and friends can view the ceremony live from the safety of home.  We will also rebroadcast each ceremony to include speeches from each principal and student leaders.

COVID 19 Safety Information

Any family member or guest who is symptomatic or has been exposed to COVID-19 is not allowed to attend.  Further, family members and guests should take the same precautions used when going into public places.  Masks are highly recommended. Live-streaming services are available specifically so that vulnerable guests can still witness their loved-one walk across the stage from the safety of their home. Family members and guests should not attend this ceremony if it is against the Center for Disease Control and /or Alabama Department of Public Health guidance for them.

All graduates and guests should always follow social distance rules.   We are limited in our ability to enforce social distance rules, so it is important that only guests who follow these rules are in attendance.

HCS endeavors to create a memorable in-person graduation experience while also following guidelines from local & state health officials.  We thank you in advance for working with us on these necessary accommodations.

Congratulations to our seniors and their family members.  We look forward to seeing you soon on your big day.

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