MEDFORD, Ore-- On Saturday, June 5, the the Medford School District Senior Class will be able to attend in-person graduation ceremonies, which will allow for more family and friends to attend. But for North and South Medford High Schools, the school district is having to get a bit more creative.
According to the school district, North and South Medford High Schools will be hosting a combined eight graduation ceremonies for all 600 plus seniors, to allow for the maximum amount of family members and friends to attend for each student.
"Providing an experience for seniors that's memorable is super important," said Natalie Hurd, the Communications Director for MSD. "It's one of the biggest moments in their lives. One of the biggest moments in their family's lives."
With current coronavirus restrictions in place, the Medford School District is only allowed to fill up its graduation arena, Spiegelberg Stadium, to 15% capacity, which according to Hurd is about 800 people.
To allow each student to bring enough family members and friends to their graduation ceremony, the school district decided to split the once single graduation into eight different ceremonies, four ceremonies each for North and South Medford High Schools.
"We know that we need to allow our seniors to invite more of their family members," Hurd said.
According to Hurd, the first ceremony will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday morning and will last about 45 minutes. In that time each school will have the ability to decide how each individual ceremony will be ran. After the ceremony, students, family members and friends will be asked to leave so the next group of students and families can get seated. During this time, the school district will prepare and disinfect the area of the previous group.
Although for a second year in a row the school district will be hosting multiple graduation ceremonies, some seniors at North Medford High School say that they are grateful for MSD taking this route.
"I feel like I am going to get the support that I need during my graduation ceremony," said North Medford Senior Leylah Chan. "For me, everyone gets to see what I've done and my accomplishments rather than it being a smaller group. It makes me feel like I really did it."
"I think it means a lot to a lot of people because we were in quarantine for so long that we were alone most of the time," said North Medford High School Senior Isela Chavez. "So since we get to have more people to be at our graduation this time it will mean a lot for a lot of different people since we didn't get that experience last year."
Masks will also not be required at any of the Medford School Districts graduation ceremonies.
Medford Online's graduation will begin on June 4 at 6 p.m. at Spiegelberg Stadium.
Central Medford High School's graduation will happen on June 9 at 6 p.m. on the front lawn of the Oakdale building.