Graduation Is different this year


File photo

Outdoor commencement should be returning the B-A this year, as long as the weather holds up.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced last week that PA would lift its COVID restrictions on May 31, which means capacity and crowd limits would be gone just in time for graduation. Later, the CDC dropped masking guidelines for vaccinated Americans.

By then plans had already been solidified for Bellwood-Antis’s 2021 commencement, so will not be completely open to the public; however, anyone can attend as long as they have a ticket provided by one of the graduates.

Members of the class of 2021 can bring an unlimited amount of guests, so long as commencement takes place outdoors at Memorial Stadium as planned. Graduates ust request tickets, but all requests will be honored.

Outdoor commencement is scheduled for June 2. June 3 is the rain make-up day.

“If there is an inclement weather on both dates, then commencement will be in the auditorium on June 3,” explained high school principal Mr. Richard Schreier.

Graduation may feel like a return to normalcy this year after the 2020 commencement was cancelled due to the COVID pandemic. As a result, the district held a parade of graduates, where seniors were chauffeured through town and then presented with their diplomas at the high school.

That event will continue this year.

“The public is welcome to view the seniors during the vehicle processional in town” said Mr. Schreier

At commencement, Superintendent Dr. McInroy, Board President Bob Fisher, and High school principal Mr. Schreier will give brief addresses, but the spotlight will be on the students speeches. If the event is indoors there will be a four ticket limit for each graduate. The event will be live-streamed on The Bellwood-Antis School District Live Event YouTube Channel.

With so much going on, there is the risk of graduation running long; however, the district has taken steps to prevent that.

During a typical graduation ceremony there are multiple people who go up to the podium in front of the graduates and crowd and speak, and this usually includes a guest speaker as well.  However, this year there will be no guest speaker at graduation.

In an attempt to save time to prevent guests from being in close contact with others for too long the guest speaker portion of the ceremony has been taken out.

“In an effort to shorten the time of the graduation ceremony, we are foregoing a guest speaker this year,” said Mr. Schreier.