4-State graduations: tentative plans from area schools and colleges

Graduation Cap, Diploma

Many schools in Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma are making plans for graduation. Although it may not be the normal commencement, schools still hope to give local 2020 graduates a day of celebration. Here are plans for some area schools (plans may change as states/local governments progress through phases of reopening). If you know of an update, please email sstrader@koamtv.com.

(Related: 2020 Senior Sendoff2020 Senior Tribute)

Missouri

  • Joplin
    •  Joplin High School will hold  a Senior Celebration Drive-Thru on May 17th from 3 PM to 4:30 PM. Students are encouraged to wear their cap and gown while staying in their car. Seniors will drive in the front entrance of the school, grab their graduation charm from Newton’s Jewelers and follow others to the main exit. The virtual graduation will be streamed live on the JETHD Joplin Eagles Television Facebook page and on their YouTube channel. An announcement by JETHD Joplin Eagles Television also states that a proper graduation will possibly be held at Junge Stadium on Sunday, June 28th. We’ll continue to provide additional information as it becomes available.
  • Carl Junction
    • Graduation will be celebrated on Friday, May 15th at Bulldog Stadium. To observe appropriate social distancing, the graduation times have been staggered between 5 PM and 8:30 PM. Rain or shine, the event will be held with a contingency plan to move indoors if necessary. More details about the event can be found here with a live-stream of the event through CityLink available here. Plus, a map of the planned route for students and families is available here.
  • Carthage
  • Mount Vernon
    • From Superintendent Scott Cook on the district’s site: “Graduation will be held on Thursday, June 11 at 7:30 PM. If social distancing restrictions are still in effect, the structure of Graduation will be altered to provide a memorable experience while maintaining compliance with orders from state or local authorities. All options will be considered.” 
  • Neosho
    •  Neosho Seniors had their Drive-Thru End-of-Year Check Out on May 14th where they returned items, paid any outstanding fees, picked up their cap and gown and signed up for Project Graduation at the high school. The school district will cover the cost for each graduate to have a professional photo taken by Sexton Media Studio in Neosho this year. Appointments for them will be between May 18th and May 21st. The latest announcement from the district has Prom scheduled for July 10th, Paint the Hill for July 11th, Graduation on July 17th and Project Grad Fun Day on July 18th. Details and times are still being sorted and we’ll provide those details as they become available.
  • Nevada
    • From Dr. Tyson Beshore: “Graduation will be held on Saturday, July 18. If health guidelines do not permit large gatherings, alternate plans will be made for the same date. We will announce more details as we get closer to July 18.” 
  • Sarcoxie
    • It seems as though the upcoming Senior Parade on May 1st at 7:30 PM will take place of normal graduation for seniors. Link to the PDF from the district about the event is here. KOAM contacted Principal Philip Lewis for more information. 
  • Seneca
    • High school postponed the original May 16th graduation date. Three dates they have on the table are Saturday June 20th, Saturday July 18th and Saturday August 8th per Twitter. Those dates are subject to social distancing directives from the government. If social distancing is not allowing the event, the event will be moved to the next available date. 
  • Webb City
    •  Prom has been rescheduled for June 13th at the Roxie/Amelie Event Center in Joplin. The dance begins at 8 PM with the evening concluding at 11 PM. Students won’t be charged for entry, but they must fill out the Google Form that was emailed to them in order to attend. For Graduation, the district set the new date for Friday, June 19th at 7 PM at Cardinal Stadium. Additional details will be provided over the coming weeks.
  • Jasper
    • Senior Baccalaureate, a voluntary event, will be held on June 24th at 7 PM at the First Christian Church in Jasper. Graduation practice will take place June 26th at 10 AM in the Tabler Gymnasium with class pictures also being taken and a luncheon afterward at the restaurant of their choice. Practice is mandatory if seniors want to walk across the stage at Graduation. The ceremony will take place on June 28th at 3 PM in Tabler Gymnasium with awards and scholarship presentations as well. Alternate dates in July are being looked at if the health situation changes.
  • Lamar
    • The traditional graduation has been replaced with a Senior Parade. It’s scheduled for Sunday, May 17th at 5 PM. The parade will start at Lamar High, work around the Lamar Square and head east on 160 to conclude at the East Primary Center. The public is invited to line the streets of the parade to celebrate and congratulate Seniors. Barton TV will also livestream the event. A formal ceremony will take place at Lamar High on either June 28th or July 26th, pending CDC guidelines and restrictions. 
  • Liberal
    • Graduation date listed as May 10th at 3 PM. KOAM contacted Principal Nicole Ruddick for more information, “We are planning to make decisions regarding graduation within a couple weeks. We plan to have some type of graduation depending on the legal guidelines that are being presented daily.” 
  • McDonald County
    • In a Facebook post, Prom has been rescheduled for June 26th from 7 PM to 11 PM. Graduation is set for July 10th at 8 PM. The backup dates, if necessary, are July 17th for Prom and July 24th for Graduation. Additional details will be posted as they are made available. 
  • Monett
    • The District posted an update saying their graduation has been postponed from May 8th. They were hoping to use the first of two alternate dates, June 12th, for a regular commencement ceremony. They say that is looking less and less likely, but will continue to closely monitor expectations and make appropriate adjustments. The other alternate date would be July 10th. They’ll continue to update the situation as changes arise. 
  • Aurora
    • In a statement on May 8th from the district’s website, Graduation has been scheduled for Friday, June 12th at Kelley Field. The festivities start at 7 PM. If inclement weather presents itself, June 19th will be the scheduled rain date. If cases spike and guidance dictates that graduation cannot be held, the district will pursue an alternative option. 
  • Cassville
    • The district hosted a virtual graduation that’s now on YouTube and the district’s Facebook page Sunday, May 17th at 3 PM. Plus, the ticketed event for graduates and ticketed guests will take place at Wildcat Football Stadium on Friday, July 3rd at 7 PM. Details regarding the July 3rd event will continue to evolve based on guidelines from local and state health officials. We’ll continue to check back for and provide additional updates as they become available. 
  • Diamond
    • No event found on website calendar; KOAM has reached out to Amy Smith (HS Principal) for information.
  • East Newton
    • Dr. Ron Mitchell has a save-the-date plan in place for the district. Based on when social distancing guidelines will be lifted, they have May 30th, June 27th and July 25th as the three possible dates set. We’ll continue to check in for any further announcements about a proper selected date. 
  • El Dorado Springs
    • Superintendent Mark Koca told El Dorado Springs Sun on April 16th they’re floating the idea of a graduation later in the summer if conditions are right. School calendar still has it listed for May 17th at 2 PM. Reaching out to the school for more info. “El Dorado Springs has not yet set a date for commencement ceremonies.  Originally, the date planned was May 17th, but I don’t imagine we will be able to use that date.  We will have a ceremony at some point, but probably won’t make the decision until around the 8th of May.” 

Oklahoma High Schools 

  • Afton
    • From a statement on the district’s homepage, spring activities including prom has been cancelled. Graduation has been postponed until a later date.  KOAM is reaching out to Brad Ferguson (Principal) for any additional details.
  • Welch
    • District calendar still has graduation day on May 15th. KOAM is reaching out to Principal Kent Haskell for information. 
  • Commerce
    • Steve Moss (Technology Director/Federal Programs Director) posted on the district’s website on April 14th, “Commerce Schools have set two sets of possible dates for HS Prom, MS Promotion and HS Graduation. It is our sincere hope to have these events on one of the below scheduled dates. 
    • The first dates are:
      • June 25, 2020 – Prom – Rustic Oaks – 7:00 pm
      • June 26, 2020 – 8th Grade Promotion @ CHS – 6:30pm
      • June 28, 2020 – HS Graduation @ CHS – 4:00pm 
    • The second dates are:
      • July 16, 2020 – Prom – Rustic Oaks – 7:00 pm
      • July 17, 2020 – 8th Grade Promotion @ CHS – 6:30pm
      • July 19, 2020 – HS Graduation @ CHS – 4:00pm 
    • These dates are pending subject to our social distancing directives from the government. If social distancing is not allowing these events by June 11th, 2020 we will move to the July dates. 
  • Fairland
    • No graduation date was found on the district’s site. Contacted Superintendent Mark Alexander for information, “We are waiting for the state to start removing restrictions and show promise that they will not be reinstated. At that time, we will likely set a couple dates, maybe one in June and one in July and hope something works out. We use our own gymnasium, so the venue will not be a problem.” 
  • Grove
    • From a Facebook post on their page on April 15th: “In an effort to do everything possible to host a traditional graduation ceremony, we have tentatively scheduled two possible dates. We will hold it on the first date we can while abiding by guidelines from the City of Grove, State of Oklahoma and CDC. As we get closer to these dates we will communicate the final decision. Graduation will be held in the evening at Ridgerunner Stadium. Please stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.” June 19th & July 10th are the dates selected for graduation. 
  • Jay
    • The district lists May 15th as graduation date on its calendar. KOAM reached out to Principal James Bryant for more information/possible date change. 
  • Miami
    • Per the high school’s Facebook page: 3 tentative dates have been selected. The plan will be to go with the first unless social distancing guidelines are still in place. If so, the next date will be selected. June 13th, June 27th and July 11th. All dates are Saturdays and would take place at 7:30 PM at NEO Robertson Field. Regardless of the date, graduation practice would be the day before at 10 AM. 
  • Quapaw
    • No date of graduation mentioned on the district’s calendar. KOAM reached out to Superintendent David Carriger for date/any information, “We are hoping to have a graduation exercise sometime this summer when the State gives us clearance.” 
  • Wyandotte
    • From a post on the district’s site, graduation plans are still pending. 

Kansas High Schools

  • Baxter Springs
    • The original graduation date was set for Saturday, May 9th at 6 PM. More than likely, that will be rescheduled. From the Facebook page, the district sent an email with a 5-question survey seeking feedback related to graduation. The survey was open through noon on April 30th KOAM emailed Superintendent David Pendergraft for more information. 
  • Chanute
    • No graduation date was listed on the district’s calendar nor was any mention of it found on Facebook. KOAM reached out to Principal Brian Campbell for more information. 
  • Cherryvale
    • The high school/district lists their graduation date as Saturday, May 9th. The district’s front page states that graduation ceremonies will be postponed until such time as large gatherings in the community will be allowed. Principal James Renfro sent this latest statement to Senior students and parents. “At this time, our goal is to give you a traditional graduation.  In the gym, stage, parents, grandparents etc.  The likelihood of this is very slim, but this is our hope.  June 27th will be the first opportunity to do some type of graduation ceremony.  I cannot articulate at this time what it looks like, but we would like to do something on that day.  If that day is not a traditional graduation ceremony, we will still have some type of ceremony on June 27.  This will be the best possible ceremony.  Then, when July 11 rolls around, we would have a traditional ceremony with the graduation ceremony carried out in a normal Cherryvale High School tradition.  If we are unable to have this, we will consider June 27 the graduation ceremony and we will move on with life.” 
  • Chetopa & St. Paul
    • At a special board meeting on May 4th, USD 505 finalized their graduation plans. Graduation Day will still be held on Sunday, May 17th. St. Paul is at 1:00; Chetopa is at 4:00.  The celebration will be a “drive in” and only one car per graduate is allowed.  Students will be parked in a designated spot and everyone will remain in the car except for the graduate when he/she is called to the stage.  Photographers will take and provide pictures to families at no charge.  The celebration will be live streamed on YouTube.  With the exception of a limited number of administration and members of the Board, no other guests/audience members will be allowed.  A parade of graduates through the community will follow the celebration. Additional procedural information will be provided to graduates/parents. 
  • Columbus
    • According to the Columbus Schools USD 493 Facebook page: “Due to the recent governor change of guidelines, graduation can not take place with a large group on June 20th. We are going to now schedule graduation for July 18th at 10am. If changes occur again, we may keep graduation on this date with modifications. We will keep you posted as we get closer but graduation will now be July 18th at 10am.”
  • Erie
    • The district’s site has the graduation listed on May 9th at 5 PM. KOAM reached out to Principal Noah Francis for confirmation or any indication of a change in plans. 
  • Field Kindley
    • On April 23rd, Seniors were sent a survey about graduation and were supposed to be filled out and turned in by 8 AM on Sunday April 26th. The high school in a YouTube video revealed that Seniors want to wait to have a traditional ceremony on July 18th. Four options are available depending on CDC guidelines. One will be a traditional ceremony in the gym at 10 AM on the 18th. Social distancing could shift it to the football stadium at 7 PM on the 18th. A drive-through graduation option on the front lawn is also possible. The last option would be a virtual ceremony, but they don’t think they’ll have to resort to that. 
  • Fort Scott
    • A graduation date hasn’t been found on the school’s site. Principal Amber Toth says the school will plan to hold a traditional ceremony if at all possible. A date hasn’t been set because the school doesn’t know how long it will take to move through the reopening phases. The graduation will be July at the earliest.  
  • Fredonia
    • Principal Jamie Camacho announced the school has postponed Grauation until August 1st. The plan has the morning ceremony outside at Gene John Stadium. Additional information will be provided when it becomes available. 
  • Frontenac
    • Graduation July 18 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
  • Galena
    • No date could be found on the district’s calendar/site. KOAM reached out to Principal Dr. Trey Moeller for any information. 
  • Girard
    • From their Facebook page, the tentative date is Sunday, May 24th in the afternoon. “The current guidelines allowed by the state on that date should be for gatherings of 30 or less with social distancing in effect. The plan will be to “schedule” your graduation walk time in advance so that we can allow your parents and family members to gather in the bleachers by the track. There are many more details to come. If something changes, we will inform you as soon as possible.” 
  • Humboldt
    • No graduation date has been posted on the school/district’s calendar. Their FAQ does state that graduation will be held after restrictions have been lifted. KOAM reached out to Principal John Johnson to see if any plans (tentative or concrete) have been made. 
  • Iola
    • Graduation Ceremony-Stadium Saturday July 11, 2020 10am – 12pm
  • Labette County
    • Dr. John Wyrick in an email to KOAM said the school will celebrate the Senior Class of 2020 on Saturday, May 16th starting at 10 AM. 
  • Marmaton Valley
    • The district’s site has May 16th as the graduation date. KOAM reached out to Kim Ensminger of the district for confirmation or any information on new plans. 
  • Neodehsa
    • The district has posted on Facebook that the original date of graduation, May 16th, will have the district put a virtual video up on Facebook as a continuation of honoring 2020 Seniors. The formal graduation ceremony for Seniors to walk is tentatively set for Saturday, August 1st at the high school at 2 PM. 
  • Northeast HS
    • USD 246 has listed Saturday, May 9th as the official graduation date on its calendar. Superintendent Greg Gorman says the school board meeting on May 11 will hopefully yield some plans regarding Graduation.
  • Oswego
    • USD 504’s site originally had the date set for May 9th at 2 PM at the High School. However, the event has been updated to mention that it has been delayed. While no definite plans have been made, Doug Beisel stated some things are in the works and they will hopefully have a clearer picture of graduation plans within the next week or so. 
  • Parsons
    • From Eric Swanson on the district’s site: “Lots of questions about graduation, and that’s just fine! We also have questions, but are starting to put together a plan, anticipating the state and county relaxing the restrictions on gatherings. The plan is still being developed, but we want everyone to have a date to plan around. Graduation for PHS seniors will be June 6. The later date gives us about another 30 days after the anticipated stay-at-home order being lifted next week. Of course, that could change from day-to-day. We will release more detailed information as we make solid plans and hear more from our state and local officials. Thank you for your patience. Listening to other administration from across the state, there are as many different plans and ideas as there are schools it seems. No one has the “right” answer but is trying to do what’s best for their kids and communities. Seniors: Mark that date on your calendars! June 6! Times and plans still to come. Go Vikes!” 
  • Pittsburg
    • In an April 24th Facebook Post from Richard Proffitt, Superintendent: “We are working towards a final decision for Graduation. We will honor our seniors in the best way possible. A survey has been sent out to Seniors and Senior parents to gather their valuable feedback. As soon as we know, we will announce the final decision so that families can make plans accordingly.”
  • Riverton
    • USD 404 has the baccalaureate (4 PM) and graduation (6 PM) set for Sunday, May 17th. Superintendent Todd Berry stated the principals are working on details to reschedule the ceremony. Once a definite date or specifics of the ceremony have been worked out, those details will be made available. 
  • St. Mary’s Colgan
    • The district’s calendar originally had May 13th set for Graduation. Principal Wes Streeter said the graduation date has been moved to July 21st. The Seniors will still be celebrated on the 13th as KOAM will air a commercial on that date to honor the Seniors. 
  • Southeast
    • Graduation was set for Saturday, May 9th at 2 PM, but the district site has the event marked as canceled on their calendar. KOAM is reaching out to Superintendent Dr. Brad Miner to see if the event has been truly canceled or if it will be postponed to a new date. 
  • Uniontown
    • The district’s calendar has their Baccalaureate and Graduation ceremonies set for May 9th. Superintendent Bret Howard says the district will propose another date at their Board of Education meeting on Monday, May 11th. They want to propose Sunday, June 21st as the new graduation date. That date is predicated on meeting the requirements for the Reopen Plan in Kansas and being approved by the local health department. We’ll check back after May 11th for any updates on that. 

Universities/Colleges 

  •  Pittsburg State
    • In an announcement on April 29th, the University decided to their May graduates with a commencement ceremony on December 12th. The commencement team worked on a plan to honor the graduates and their accomplishments in other ways like social media recognition and a website planned for the coming weeks. A survey found the majority of students set to graduate preferred a face-to-face ceremony dedicated to those who would have walked in May. A recording of the ceremony will be posted on the University’s Vimeo and YouTube channels. You can read more of the university’s announcement here. 
  • Missouri Southern
    • Spring & summer 2020 graduates will be recognized on December 12th at 10 AM with the fall & winter graduates later this year. A celebration website is under development and will go live when the university has collected personalized celebration announcements from students. A special video montage will be released on May 9th that will show students in their caps, gowns and other academic regalia that they submitted. The full statement from MSSU can be found here. 
  • Coffeyville Community College
    • The graduation set for May 9th at 10 AM has been cancelled. However, a video recognizing graduates and highlighting the year will be released on May 9th. The video will be found on their webstie and social media platforms. 
  • Fort Scott Community College
    • Tom Havron, Vice President of Student Affairs, confirms that spring graduation for seniors has been cancelled. They will hold a special graduation at the conclusion of the fall semester for those who would have graduated this spring. We’ll continue to look for additional details and provide them as they become available. 
  • Independence Community College
    • The college’s Spring 2020 Commencement will be a virtual ceremony this year. It will be streamed on Facebook Live on Saturday, May 9th starting at 10 AM. 
  • NEO A&M
    • From the college’s COVID-19 FAQ website, NEO has cancelled commencement given too much uncertainty the school would face if they wanted to reschedule. The site does state that NEO is developing ways to ensure graduates are recognized. We’re reaching out to Jordan Adams, Coordinator of Public Information & Marketing, to find out if any plans have been made for graduates.