By SAMANTHA PIDDE

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, West Carroll High School Principal Ben Asche and other school staff have been working to ensure Class of 2020 graduates will receive some recognition during a special graduation ceremony later this month.

"As all of you know, our senior class has had the unfortunate circumstances of not being able to finish their senior year in regular fashion," said Asche in a letter to West Carroll families. "With this, we want to do all we can to celebrate and recognize our seniors in the best way possible."

A special graduation ceremony, utilizing social distancing and virtual streaming will be held Saturday, June 27, on the stage of the WCHS gymnasium.

The ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. with each graduate having a scheduled time to walk across the stage, receive their diploma and have their picture taken in their cap and gown with no more than two other family members. The process is expected to take approximately two minutes for each graduate.

Principal Asche explained in an email to the Mirror-Democrat and Times-Journal that graduates and their two family members will enter through the school's back entrance, where a staff member will greet them and direct them where to go. Cones will be placed at least six feet apar through the hall for families to use as a guide for distancing until they reach the gym side door.

A staff member will allow one family in the gym at a time for the graduate to receive their diploma and take a photo. Once that family is done and has exited through the backside door, the next family will enter the gym. All in all, Asche said he expects the entire ceremony to take three hours.

The graduation ceremony also will be streamed virtually on Facebook Live for anyone to view. Asche said students and parents will receive the link in their email. The link also will be on school's Facebook page.

The high school also is using a virtual format for its combined Academic Awards & Scholarship Night, held at 6 p.m. Monday, June 15.

If possible, West Carroll's Prom will be held July 23. However, Asche noted the event is dependent on the state guidelines at that time.