Delaware grads glad for more traditional ceremonies

High school commencements mostly outdoors, with looser COVID guidelines

By Glenn Rolfe
Posted 5/27/21

The class of 2021, which navigated through unprecedented challenges during the coronavirus pandemic, is set to take the last step of that journey.

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Delaware grads glad for more traditional ceremonies

High school commencements mostly outdoors, with looser COVID guidelines


The class of 2021, which navigated through unprecedented challenges during the coronavirus pandemic, is set to take the last step of that journey.

Commencements loom on the horizon, as districts in Kent and Sussex counties have mapped out graduation events that come amid public health restrictions that have been relaxed but still include mask and social distancing guidelines.

Most ceremonies are planned outdoors, and many will be livestreamed.

Graduations will kick off Friday, with Delmarva Christian’s event.

Kent County

Dover High School

Dover High School will hold one graduation ceremony, June 4, starting at 4 p.m. in the football stadium.

Each graduate will receive six tickets.

Capital School District will be livestreaming the Dover event, and there are no mask or social distancing requirements.

Lake Forest High School

The graduation ceremony for Spartan seniors is June 4 at 6 p.m. at James H. Blades Stadium.

The rain date is June 7, also at 6.

Each senior will receive four tickets for reserved seating on the track, and there will be open seating on the home and visitor bleachers for guests without tickets.

All graduates and guests are encouraged to wear masks while on campus and maintain at least 3 feet of space between themselves and others not in the same household. Masks will be provided to the graduates; however, guests must bring their own masks. Individuals who are not fully vaccinated should wear masks while attending graduation, and anyone experiencing signs of illness should not attend under any circumstances.

Caesar Rodney High School

Caesar Rodney’s graduation is slated for June 5 at Rider Stadium, starting at 9 a.m. All graduates will be together as a single class.

Per Division of Public Health guidance, masks and social distancing will not be required. Also, no tickets will be issued for students, as there will be open seating like a traditional graduation.

The ceremony will be livestreamed; the link will be posted on the CRHS webpage and district webpage/social media the day prior to the event.

Smyrna High School

Smyrna High’s Eagles get their graduation wings June 5 in the stadium in a 9 a.m. ceremony, which will be livestreamed at no cost via the National Federation of State High School Associations Network.

Each graduate will receive six tickets.

Masks are not mandatory, but observance of 3 feet of social distancing is recommended.

Prerecorded speeches and music via the SHS Facebook page will start June 4.

Polytech High School

Polytech’s graduation is June 5, starting at 11 a.m. in Jeff Adams Stadium.

Before, during and after the ceremony, attendees are recommended to maintain 3 feet of social distancing, especially for those not vaccinated or not living within the same household. Those not vaccinated are also encouraged to wear masks. Graduates can remove their masks when walking to, across and from the stage when receiving their diplomas.

The graduation program will be shared electronically prior to the ceremony.

The rain date is June 6 at 11 a.m.

Milford High School

Milford’s outdoor graduation at Briggs Stadium is set for June 10 from 6-8 p.m.

Graduates will receive up to six tickets each. Mask protocols will be in place for students and staff.

Graduation will be livestreamed from the MHS YouTube channel.

Sussex County
Indian River School District

Sussex Central High School will host a single outdoor graduation ceremony Tuesday, while Indian River High School will hold a single ceremony, also outdoors, on Wednesday. Those two graduations will begin at 7 p.m.

Howard T. Ennis School will host a single indoor ceremony Thursday at 3 p.m. in the school’s gymnasium.

The rain date for the high school ceremonies is also Thursday.

If both high school ceremonies are postponed due to inclement weather, Sussex Central’s will be rescheduled for Thursday and Indian River’s for June 4. Start times will remain the same.

Each principal will share information with their community regarding the number of guests that will be able to attend the ceremonies and will communicate detailed instructions related to arrival procedures and COVID-19 protocols.

During each high school graduation, family members will sit together in pods with 3-6 feet of social distancing between other family groups. Graduates will also be seated 3 feet apart and will maintain a safe social distance when exiting their seats to receive their diplomas.

At Howard T. Ennis, guests must RSVP to enter the venue and indicate whether they reside in the same household as the graduate does. Each graduate will have a designated section of the gymnasium where his or her family members may sit. These sections will be outlined with tape on the floor. Hand sanitizer will be available at both entrances to the gym.

All school facilities will be cleaned and sanitized before and after the ceremonies.

Laurel High School

Laurel High’s class of 2021 graduates Thursday. The ceremony, taking place in the outdoor stadium, will begin at 6:30 p.m. The rain date is June 4.

This is a ticketed event, and Laurel Superintendent Dr. Shawn Larrimore announced this week that each soon-to-be Laurel graduates are receiving 10 tickets each.

Although mask requirements have been lifted, unvaccinated students and guests are encouraged to wear masks to lower risks, Dr. Larrimore said. The commencement will be livestreamed on Facebook, and the Bulldog Jumbotron will be on display for ticketed guests who might prefer to watch from their vehicles.

Sussex Technical High School

Thursday is the date for Sussex Tech’s commencement. It starts at 6 p.m.

Tech seniors are allotted to have five guests attend the outdoor ceremony, based on new guidelines from the governor’s office.

Tickets are required for admission to graduation; anyone without a ticket will not be permitted to enter.

Under the governor’s new executive order and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, masking and social distancing will not be required. Unvaccinated people are encouraged to continue to wear masks, as per CDC guidelines.

Seaford High School

Seaford’s graduation ceremony is June 4 at 6 p.m. at Bob Dowd Stadium. This is a ticketed event, due to the number of seats available in the stadium.

“We always divide it out based on capacity and the number of graduates,” said Seaford School District spokesman Jason Cameron.

All COVID-19 protocols will be followed, as prescribed by the state at the time of the event.

Cape Henlopen High School

Cape Henlopen’s outdoor graduation in its stadium is June 8, with two last-name-based sessions: A-K at 4 p.m. and L-Z at 6:30 p.m. Each graduate will receive five tickets for guests; anyone entering the stadium counts as a guest, including infants.

All students and guests must always wear masks.

The ceremony will be available via livestreaming, and the YouTube link will be shared via Cape’s social media account.

Delmar High School

Delmar High School’s commencement is June 11 at 7 p.m.

Woodbridge High School

Outdoor graduation for Woodbridge is set for June 11, starting at 6 p.m. in the stadium.
Each graduate will receive nine tickets. Attendees are encouraged to wear masks and maintain social distancing.

The ceremony will be livestreamed. The link will be available on the school/district website.

The rain dates are June 12 and, if needed, June 13, both starting at 4 p.m. in the stadium.

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