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Bitterroot school districts weighing commencement options

Posted at 10:56 PM, May 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-07 00:56:38-04

CORVALLIS — Details are still being worked out, but school districts in Ravalli County are leaning toward having some kinds of altered commencement programs for their graduates, depending on the current pandemic guidelines at the time.

While some counties in the state might be more limited because of the larger number of COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, Ravalli County had only five cases, and no active cases.

Even so, districts are taking a cautious approach in their planning. For example, Corvallis High School is considering an outside ceremony on the athletic field, with social distancing and limited crowd size.

"Things are still potentially changing at a fairly quick rate," Corvallis School District superintendent Tim Johnson said. "We have an idea that we're going to be outside at our athletic field. We're going to have kids social distanced. We'll have families in groups. They'd be socially distanced as groups. As far as the number we haven't decided on that. I think we'll get more clarity as the weeks go by on that as well. If we can, we may have it in the gym as we typically do. But we'll have kind of a drop dead date one way or the other. And that's few weeks out yet."

Corvallis graduation would be held on June 6.

Hamilton High School might have an outdoor ceremony. Trustees will discuss those plans Tuesday. Florence-Carlton plans an outdoor ceremony at the football stadium on May 30. Victor will do the same thing on June 7. Darby High is planning an outdoor ceremony at the rodeo grounds May 30. Stevensville will also graduate that day but details aren't final.