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With nine seniors, it will be a small private graduation ceremony when Scranton Public School says goodbye to its graduating class in front of family and faculty May 24 at 4 p.m. in the school gymnasium.

According to Superintendent John Pretzer, it will be a closed ceremony, but also will be streamed on the school’s Facebook page.

“The ceremony will not be open to the general public. It will be open to family, graduates and staff,” he said.

“We have a small class, but we are not going to do things as usual. That is not going to be the case. It is by invitation only, basically. We are going to stream it live on Facebook, so everyone will have a chance to see the ceremony,” he explained.

One advantage to having a small graduating class at a small school is that social distancing can be easier in the year of COVID-19, he said.

The school will have two valedictorians, Warrick Dilse and Quinn Mellmer, along with one salutatorian, Connor Dilse, the superintendent added.

The actually ceremony should go fairly quickly, he said. “We don’t have a band. We don’t have a choir. We have two valedictorians and one salutatorian who will give an address,” Pretzer said, noting that both he, as the high school principal, and elementary principal Kelly Pierce will also say a few words.

“The parents will participate in handing out diplomas and turning tassels for their kids. So the ceremony will be about a half hour to 45 minutes at the most. There will be about 10 to 12 family members maximum and there are only nine kids,” he explained. The bleachers will be marked for social distancing by the families, in addition to the seniors also being spread out, conforming to the guidelines issued by the state.

They will also be holding an end of school awards program online at 10 a.m. May 15

Bowman County

The graduating class at Bowman County High School will be starting their gradation ceremony at 2 p.m. May 24 in the school gymnasium, according to principal Tyler Senn.

He said Monday that he was working on plans/guidelines for the event that he hoped would be finalized at the school board meeting Wednesday evening.

“We are trying to figure out what we can make work,” Senn said. “We will try to follow the guidelines as far as cleaning and sanitary needs required by the state. I would like to have separate microphones for everybody, but I do not know if that is possible.”

The guidelines for how to use entrances have not been decided as of yet, Senn added.

State School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler announced that a “virtual graduation ceremony” will be broadcast and live streamed across North Dakota May 30 as a special opportunity to honor North Dakota’s Class of 2020.

The ceremony is a bonus addition to any local graduation celebrations that local school districts will hold.

The Department of Public Instruction is partnering with Gov. Doug Burgum’s office, Forum Communications Co. of Fargo, and Microsoft Corp. to produce the live ceremony, Baesler said.

It will take place May 30 at 1 p.m. (MT). It will be broadcast on ABC affiliates in North Dakota, and a live stream will be available on the websites of Forum Communications properties InForum, Grand Forks Herald, Jamestown Sun and The Dickinson Press.

The live stream will be available for free and will not be behind the company’s paywall.

It will honor 181 North Dakota high schools and include remarks from Burgum; a musical performance by Nashville recording artists Tigirlily, two sisters who are natives of Hazen, ND; and remarks by a nationally known speaker or speakers, who will deliver an invocation and commencement address.

“This is intended to provide another special opportunity to honor and celebrate our 2020 graduates and their families, who have already sacrificed so much of their senior year celebrations because of COVID-19,” Baesler said.

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