ALBION — How do you gather 102 graduates and families in one room and still be socially distant?
Very carefully, Central Noble Jr./Sr. High Co-Principal Shawn Hoover found out.
At the May 19 Central Noble school board meeting, she presented her proposal on how to handle graduation, plus a diagram of seating arrangements in the gymnasium, to the board.
Graduation is now scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 7 at the Jr./Sr. High gym.
That’s the same night as East Noble’s graduation, but Central Noble Superintendent Troy Gaff said his school system didn’t have any families with graduates overlapping, so there shouldn’t be an issue.
In the gym, graduates will sit in 13 rows with four seats per row. That totals out to 104 seats, each spaced six feet apart.
Guests will sit in every other row in the gym. Central Noble has posted a link for students to use to request up to four tickets for their guests. Guest seating times will be staggered.
Hoover told the board that she’s planning on working with the school’s technology department to livestream the ceremony, too.
Gaff added that originally, they had looked into holding graduation in the auditorium, but that would limit grads to two guests instead of four.
He also said they’ll be talking to Noble County Health Officer Dr. Terry Gaff about the plans, too.
“We’ll run this past Dr. Gaff,” the superintendent said.
These graduation plans are flexible, he said, and may change with what they hear back from Dr. Gaff or how the state decides to take reopening.
Hoover also outlined graduation rehearsal and a cookout the night before graduation. Weather permitting, the cookout will be outside, but it might be inside the cafeteria if it rains.
Seniors can bring two guests to the cookout, which replaces the traditional breakfast Central Noble usually has before graduation.
Hoover said this was the most “traditional” way she could think of having graduation this year.
“That’s the best I could do,” she said.
Before graduation, though, was the senior-drive in. From 4-6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 26, seniors drove through the school’s parking lot to take care of things like turning in laptops, cleaning out lockers and picking up awards and letters.
Limiting the number of people at school cleaning out lockers and picking up other items is the best way Hoover could think to limit exposure while taking care of business.
In other business, the board approved continuing school board meetings at the same time they usually are, at 5 p.m. every third Tuesday of the month at the corporation offices.