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RCS finalizes graduation plans

Russellville City Schools seniors will have the opportunity to experience a traditional commencement ceremony, with graduation planned for June 18 at 7:30 p.m. at the football stadium.

Graduation will be combined with honors night. Students’ scholarships and their plans after high school will be announced at graduation.

“We are very happy that we are able to offer students the chance to have a traditional graduation ceremony,” said RCS Superintendent Heath Grimes. “With so much of their senior year being cut short, we are glad they will at least be able to experience this.”

To meet social distancing guidelines, graduates will be allowed 10 tickets to be divided among friends and family. Both sides of the stadium will be in use, and every other row will be blocked off to allow for social distancing.

“We are terribly sorry for any inconvenience to our graduates and their families, and I would like to thank you for your patience and understanding during these unprecedented times,” said Russellville High School Principal Jason Goodwin.

Grimes said when RCS determined it would be possible to have graduation on the originally scheduled date, school official ultimately decided it would be better to wait a few more weeks to make sure everyone had time to prepare.

“We had several people who had already made plans, and we wanted to make sure we had enough time to make sure all social distancing protocols could be in place,” Grimes said. “We felt like it was better to hold off and make sure everyone had enough time to prepare.”

Grimes said students will be spread across the field to ensure distance between them. The hope is to allow students some time after graduation to take pictures with friends and family in small groups, but there are no official plans or procedures in place at this time.

The system also plans to broadcast the ceremony and sell videos for those who are unable to attend.

”Right now we are still preparing and figuring things out,” said Grimes, “but we are just happy for our students that they will be able to have their traditional graduation ceremony.”