Class of 2020 graduation ceremony Friday at Benson swimming pool

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By Reed Anfinson
Swift County Monitor-News

Members of the Benson High School Class of 2020 will receive their diplomas at the Benson Family Aquatic Center during a ceremony scheduled for Friday at 6 p.m.

It is the one site available in the community where the school administration could bring together the graduating seniors, families and friends that complied with the current state emergency order under the COVID-19 protocols.

Benson High School’s administration had planned to conduct the graduation ceremony at the football field, but the state put an end to those plans.

The Minnesota Department of Education and the Office of Higher Education issued guidance saying indoor graduations and ceremonies held outside in stadiums and on football fields were not permitted. The agencies encouraged schools to hold online events.

The parking lot at the swimming pool park will open at 5 p.m. to the families of graduates. There will be only one vehicle allowed per graduating senior unless prior arrangements are made with High School Principal Mike Knutson.

Members of each household attending are to be in the same vehicle. Sharing a vehicle with members who do not live in the same household does not comply with social distancing requirements, Laumeyer said. Families in pickup trucks or large SUV, are asked to park on the perimeter of the parking lot.

Each vehicle will receive a graduation program when entering the pool parking lot. It will have the order of ceremony and order of graduate walk-up to receive their diplomas.

No golf carts or convertibles will be allowed, and no one is to be sitting in the back of pickup trucks.

Seniors must come dressed wearing cap and gown.

“We are excited to be able to provide a wonderful ceremony that celebrates and shows appreciation for the outstanding BHS 2020 Graduating class!” Supt. Dennis Laumeyer stated in a news release last week.

“In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the governor, Department of Education, and Department of Health have established guidelines for Minnesota’s 2020 graduation ceremonies. State guidelines prohibit indoor ceremonies and stadiums and football field ceremonies.

“As a result, BHS has worked to plan a graduation ceremony that honors our amazing 2020 graduates and a ceremony that follows guidance. Precautions and safety measures will be implemented,” he said...


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