MCTEC and High Schools in Mercer County announce graduation dates

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PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) — 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 19, 2020: A release from Mercer County school administrators announced the dates and times for high school commencement ceremonies. Students were given a specific date an time to attend their ceremony in order to comply with health department requirements for social distancing. Here is the breakdown by school:

  • Bluefield High School – Tuesday, May 26 and Wednesday, May 27 – 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Montcalm High School – Saturday, May 30 – 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • PikeView High School – Tuesday, May 26, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday, May 27, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday, May 28, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Princeton Senior High School – Tuesday, May 26, Wednesday, May 27 and Thursday, May 28 – 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Students will receive a yard sign, an 8×10 photo in their cap and gown and a graduation video that will include their entire graduating class.

Meanwhile, Mercer County Technical Education Center (MCTEC) will honor the students who received CTE completion. That will be held on Thursday, May 21 at the Chuck Mathena Center at 8:30 a.m.

MCTEC administrator Rosemary Mitchell said their goal is to recognize all of the completers from the MCTEC campus. There will be modifications in order to accommodate CDC and WVDHHR guidelines.

Each student was given a time slot to report to the Chuck Mathena Center with up to four guests. Mercer County Schools employees will show families and graduates where to park. MCTEC students and families may check the school’s Facebook page and/or livegrades for additional details.


ORIGINAL STORY: 11:30 a.m. April 30, 2020: The Mercer County Board of Education announced plans to honor the graduates of the Class of 2020 while complying with restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Steps were taken to minimize the risks to students and their families.

“While no one wants to make changes, we must modify how we celebrate Graduation 2020,” said Superintendent Deborah Akers. “Our goal is to make this celebration a memorable occasion but also comply with the Governor’s Executive Order and Health Department regulations. We have worked diligently to plan an event that will honor our graduates, involve their family and protect the health and safety of our students, their families, our employees and our community.”

Each high school in Mercer County was given directions to follow in planning the ceremonies which will take place on their campuses. The graduates will walk across the stage in their cap and gown and presented with their diploma. The ceremony will be captured on video and the graduate will also have a picture taken. The Seniors may have up to four guests present from their family unit who must also be current residents of Mercer County. Here are the details:

  1. Seniors will be divided into groups of eight to ten (8-10)with each group being designated a time to report to their school.
  2. Each student may have a maximum of four {4) guests.
  3. All guests must be close family members and residents of Mercer County.
  4. Guests and graduates will be required to wear and bring their own masks.
  5. Names and contact information of all guests, organized by group session and time, must be submitted to the principal.
  6. Student groups and their guests will be asked to park in a designated area of the parking lot,and a specific entrance for accessing and departing the building will be identified.
  7. Guests will be organized into seating clusters of four (4) and must maintain a physical distance of ten (10)feet or more from other guests.
  8. All participants and guests will be limited to accessing only the portion of the building being used for this ceremony; all restrooms will be closed.
  9. Custodians will clean and disinfect seats and door handles between group sessions.
  10. Students will enter the staging area while maintaining a minimum of six (6) feet of separation.
  11. Each student will cross the stage after his/her name is called and be presented with a diploma. Students may remove their mask during this portion of the ceremony.
  12. Before exiting the stage,students will pause for a photograph that Mercer County Schools will later present to the student as an 8×10 photograph.
  13. The traditional senior walk across the stage,and the diploma presentation will be videoed.
  14. All graduation speakers will present their remarks individually and be videoed.
  15. All video segments will be edited to create a final compilation that will be presented as a continuous stream during an on-line event. All students will receive a copy of the video compilation at a later date.
  16. At the conclusion of each group’s session, groups will be asked to exit the building and go directly to their vehicles in order to allow the next scheduled group access

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