Hot Springs School District one of first in state to announce in-door graduation ceremony

With the excitement from seniors, comes questions like how this plan is safely going to work with COVID-19 on the rise in Arkansas.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — The Hot Springs School District is one of the first in the state to announce an in-door graduation.

“I’m actually really happy that we are having a graduation. I’m not going to lie, not having a prom really broke my heart,” said Olivia Rondoni, a HSHS senior.

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Hot Springs High School Seniors including Rondoni are officially going to celebrate their milestone after months of uncertainty inside the Hot Springs Convention Center.

“We put this plan together in June. It was approved in July,” said Adriane Barnes, communications coordinator for HSSD.

With the excitement from seniors, comes questions like how this plan is safely going to work with COVID-19 on the rise in Arkansas.

“The arena is only going to be at 66% capacity. That’s if all 208 graduates bring five guests,” said Barnes.

With approval from the Arkansas Department of Health, everyone 10 years old and older is required to wear a mask, all guests will get a health screening and temperature checked, and inside each group of housed will be separated 6-feet apart from others.

“If they want to sit together, they have to arrive together,” said Barnes. “There will not be any congregating in parking lot or the lobby.”

The graduation ceremony itself will look different.

It won’t be a traditional one, but graduates will still get the stage to themselves to accept their diploma.

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“Now it feels like I’m actually going to be graduating on stage, walking across it. I get to feel the feeling I’ve always wanted to feel from my senior year,” said Rondoni.

Hot Springs High School’s graduation is scheduled for July 30 at 7:30 p.m.