The St. James School District has tentatively announced prom will be held on Saturday, June 20, and graduation on June 28. These could be adjusted depending on when the state opens and the stay-at-home order is lifted.
Prom will be held at the middle school from 8 until 11 p.m. The time and location of graduation has not yet been determined. The St. James Board of Education discussed possibilities during their meeting on April 16.
“We are going to do everything possible to have a late summer graduation ceremony,” Superintendent Dr. Merlyn Johnson said. “There are other senior activities that could possibly occur and there are other activities that are not senior related that could occur.”
“I’ve been in contact every week with the area principals. We’ve had Zoom meetings conference calls with principals. We are looking to set a date in June and July for sure,” High School Principal Joe Stammers said.
Stammers said the graduation location is still be considered and he would like to see an outdoor ceremony, but parking is a concern. Another concern he had was how well the middle school air system would hold up if the ceremony is held during the hottest time of the year.
Building and Grounds Supervisor Wes DeLuca said it would have difficulty keeping up with a full gym. “We could put some fans down the hallway and get the commons unit cranking, but we all know (it would be a challenge),” DeLuca said.
Stammers said something could be held outside during the evening, which could help with the heat, but there would still be the difficulty of finding enough parking.
“We’ve talked a lot about holding (graduation) outside. Parking at the football field would be a problem. You never can seat as many people outside as you can inside. People could have the option to bring chairs,” he said.
He added he has been involved in outdoor graduations in the past and really enjoys them, but there would be some logistics to be figured out before it could take place.
The board agreed to set the dates, with an alternative graduation date of July 26, should the June date not work out.