PRC sets graduation date, restrictions

Published 7:00 am Saturday, June 13, 2020

The Pearl River School District’s Board of Trustees changed a policy concerning rental of the district’s facilities and set a date and rules for the upcoming graduation ceremony during Thursday’s meeting.

During Alan Lumpkin’s Superintendent’s Report it was mentioned that a summer learning program was in place for the district’s students that included both physical information packets as well as online access to the learning resources.

Lumpkin said the packets can be picked up at school offices, while also explaining the importance of making the resources available to parents.

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“Especially during this time with COVID-19 and the cancellation of the fourth nine weeks we wanted to give parents something to keep the students’ skills from deteriorating,” Lumpkin said.

The Board also approved a motion to temporarily suspend district policies EBH and EBHA.

The two policies deal with outside organizations having the opportunity to rent and use district facilities.

Lumpkin said the district has the equipment to sanitize and clean facilities after their own students use it, but because there’s no guarantee outside organizations would have those same resources, they decided it would be safest to suspend the policies.

While there had been previous discussion about charging organizations fees to use the facilities in order to pay for professional cleaning, it seemed safer to just not give outside organizations access in the first place.

“That is a policy that allowed outside organizations to rent our facilities, and we feel at this time in the pandemic we need to suspend that policy,” Lumpkin said.

The Board then discussed the district’s graduation plan, which states the ceremony is set to take place Friday July 10 at 7 p.m. in the Kenneth L. Hendrix Stadium on the Pearl River Central High School Campus.

The plan has numerous guidelines in place to keep attendees safe.

The guidelines are as follows: All participation in the graduation ceremony is voluntary, the ceremony will be live streamed and remote viewing is encouraged, each graduate will be limited to four tickets and no replacement tickets will be issued, seating in the stadium will be marked for social distancing, gates will open at 6 p.m., handicap parking will be available near the football ticket booth, once the ceremony is complete students will walk off the field while using social distancing, parents will be released by sections after the ceremony and families should go directly to their vehicles, guests enter the facility at their own risk and anyone who traveled outside the country, had a fever within the past 14 days or was in contact with someone who was COVID-19 positive is asked to not attend.

Now seniors have a date to look forward to, and the board’s approval of the plan means the district’s seniors are less than a month away from getting a traditional graduation ceremony.