Grantsburg has set the date for one of their smallest graduating classes to walk across the stage and receive their diplomas. There will only be 48 Grantsburg graduates in the year of 2021, and their ceremony is set to take place on Friday, May 14 at 7 p.m.
High school principal Matt Haase stated that they made the decision to pursue another Friday evening graduation date after last year’s Friday graduation was a success.
Haase also stated that the graduation committee would once again also like to see the ceremony held outside, so the ceremony will be held in the football stadium. “Really making a lot of what we saw last year, but incorporating our band and our choir this year, that was one piece of feedback that I received.”
When it came to the number of tickets each graduate should receive, Haase and the board members hit a small bump. Because the ceremony is outdoors, they are wanting to give each graduate 10 tickets to the ceremony. But if it were to rain and the ceremony had to be moved indoors, that would be too many people to have to move indoors. But they came up with a possible solution.
Each graduate will receive 10 tickets and if the ceremony remains outdoors, all guests can attend. But if the ceremony has to move indoors, only four of those guests are allowed to go indoors to attend the ceremony.
Haase said he reached out to other local schools to see what they were doing for prom and tried to base their plan around the other schools as well as what Burnett County Health and Human Services suggests.
“One of the things that they are really considering, or that was brought forward, is that if we are going to have a gathering, the school has the best opportunity to enforce some of the current guidelines to the best of our ability. Of course, prom is going to have some risk involved as we’re still in this pandemic, so, I’m asking the board to approve this proposal because we know we are going to have to mediate that risk and that’s going to be a challenge, but we also won’t be able to eliminate the risk, and that needs to be well understood.”
Haase stated that part of the prom proposal is that all students attending prom will need to have signed permission slips. Also, no guests will be allowed from outside of the school district. Haase understands the difficulty of not allowing outside guests as students do co-mingle with students from other districts, but most other schools that are trying to make a prom happen for their students are keeping it just within their district. Juniors and seniors would still be allowed to invite another student from within the high school to prom.
“I approximated that the student total would be between 90 and 100, and I think that’s probably a higher number than we will actually have.”
Haase explained to the board that if there were to be a COVID positive case that was present at prom, all individuals that attended prom would be considered a close contact. “It would just be a complete nightmare to try to identify who was within six feet or 15 feet or more, so by going to prom, they will be accumulating not just the risk of possibly being exposed, but also at risk of being quarantined if somebody there had COVID-19.”
Prom coronation would be moved to the gymnasium at the high school to allow more room for social distancing, and the dance location has a possibility of three locations at the moment: the Grantsburg Fire Hall, the Fairgrounds, and the Community Center.
Board member Brian Handy asked if they could allow students to not wear masks at this event if they are already close contacts anyway and to make it as normal a prom as they can. Haase responded by saying that part of the prom proposal is to follow whatever mandate is in affect at the time. But if the location allows it, he does plan on setting up locations outdoors where students can hang-out and take off their masks for a while.
The prom proposal was passed by the board with possible modifications in the future based on COVID mandates.