by KATE EVANS
Morgan County School officials have announced graduation ceremonies for both county high schools will take place at the end of July. The board was scheduled to approve the events at their May 5 school board meeting.
Berkeley Springs High School’s graduation is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, July 30 at 5:30 p.m.
Paw Paw High School’s graduation is tentatively set for Friday, July 31 at 7 p.m.
The Berkeley Springs High School alternative high school program graduation is tentatively set for Wednesday, July 29 at 5:30 p.m.
Immediate families are invited to attend.
All event dates and times are pending school board approval and the ceremonies must adhere to state guidelines and have Morgan County Health Department approval. The number of guests that each student may have at the ceremony will be limited to keep the crowd size within approved limits.
The official last day of school for this school year is May 29.
After two class surveys and much discussion, Berkeley Springs High School officials announced the graduation plan for the graduating class of 2020.
A “Paint the Town Blue and Gold” event is scheduled for May 16 through May 31. Blue and gold are the school colors for Berkeley Springs High School.
Businesses can post senior student photos, blue and gold decorations and high school banners and flags. Parking meters are set to be decorated, too. More details are being posted on the school’s Facebook page and web page, according to a graduation press release from high school counselor Candice Pennington.
A diploma distribution and photo event will take place on May 21 and May 22 with a time slot that will be assigned to each graduate and their family. Details will be released by the end of the week.
The “Light Up the Field” event will occur on May 21 at dusk. The Berkeley Springs High School football field will be lit for 20 minutes and 20 seconds to “celebrate the class of 2020 and all their accomplishments.” Students and/or families won’t be allowed on the field at this time and social distancing guidelines should be followed.
The Friday, May 1 Shine for WV Seniors light up event was held in honor of spring 2020 athletes that were unable to compete in their sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The high school baseball and softball field lights were lit at 8:30 p.m. to recognize these athletes.
Academic awards and scholarship recipients will be posted on social media in June. The school will try to recognize as many awardees as possible with the delays that happened in the application and selection process, said Pennington. The Senior Spotlights and the Adopt-a-Senior Project on Facebook for both high schools will continue through the end of the school year.
The dates and occurrence of each graduation event will depend on state and national guidelines and the availability of resources.
Paw Paw Schools also held a Shine for WV Seniors light up event on Friday, May 1. More than 40 cars parked around the front of the school and turned on headlights to honor the school’s 14 graduates. Fire and rescue apparatus from Paw Paw were also pulled out along the school road with their lights going as part of the event.
Paw Paw plans for diploma distribution and other award ceremonies are still unknown as of press time. They were to be released on Monday after all Paw Paw graduating seniors had a chance to complete their graduation survey.
According to a parent questions and answers segment posted on the Morgan County Schools Facebook page, there are currently no rescheduled dates for high school proms. The Cacapon State Park lodge is under construction and won’t be available for the event until the fall.
Each high school is considering their future options and will let students and parents know if any prom plans are made. Any planned event depends on Health Department approval and the social distancing requirements in place at the time.
Seniors can get their transcripts and diplomas around the time their original graduation was scheduled. Principals will send out information about how the documents will be distributed.
Last day of school
Students in Morgan County Schools will continue to do online and remote learning until May 29, the last official day of the academic year. Weekly food distributions that have been part of the school operations since the March closure of school buildings will continue through the summer, said school officials. Five-day food packs are distributed at one of four schools countywide on Mondays. Families that have already received the food packets can continue to do so each week. Any families who want to be added to the food distribution should call 304-258-2430. School officials will ask for the student’s school ID number as part of the packet process.