Kelly prepares to send off Class of 2020 with a bang

Friday, June 5, 2020

BENTON, Mo. — While the Scott County R-4 “Kelly” School District will hold their graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020 later than most local schools, the seniors will go out with a bang.

Kelly is planning to host an outdoor graduation ceremony for seniors beginning at 9 p.m. June 27. The late start is due to heat concerns and the plan to have a firework display after the ceremony.

“Our seniors have missed out on many end of school memories, and we wanted to create something different to ‘celebrate them with a bang,’” said Kelly High School Principal Dan Hecht. “Keith Kyle is our band director, and his students have worked at Boomland in the past in exchange for donations to our music program. Mr. Kyle has arranged with Boomland to obtain fireworks to be used at our graduation ceremony. If the weather cooperates and we execute it correctly, the fireworks will begin as the graduates are tossing their caps.”

However, there will be restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The graduation will be closed to the general public, but each graduate will be allowed to bring up to 10 guests. Graduates will need to email Hecht at before June 12 with the names of their guests and if any seating requirements are needed.

If there is inclement weather, the ceremony will be moved into the gym but graduates will only be allowed four guests. The list submitted to Hecht must indicate which of the four guests would attend graduation if moved inside. The decision to move graduation inside will be made at least 24 hours before the ceremony, and if moved indoors the ceremony will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Graduates will have their tickets placed in an envelope that can be picked up in the high school office the week of June 22 between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Guests must present their tickets at graduation to be admitted. The tickets cannot be traded or given to other graduates due to social distancing requirements.

The District has created a seating chart based on current health and government recommendations and the family pods will be seated using appropriate social distancing guidelines that include being six feet apart from other families. Approximately half of the families will be seated in the football bleachers, while the other half will be seated on the field behind the graduates. Graduates will be seated on the field facing the bleachers and press box. All seating locations for families will be randomly assigned.

Gates will open at 7:45 p.m, and district employees will be in charge of seating guests in their designated spots.

Once seated, guests are asked to remain in their designated seat for the duration of the ceremony, including after the ceremony for the firework display. Restrooms will be open if needed.

After the ceremony, families can stay in the football field area and take pictures but social distancing guidelines must be maintained.

For those who aren’t able to attend the ceremony, it will be live streamed on the Kelly School District Facebook Page and will also be recorded by the project graduation committee.


Oran has scheduled their ceremony but details are still in the works.

According to a letter to parents from Oran High School Principal Joe Shoemaker, graduation will be held on July 19. However, school officials are waiting to make the detailed plans until June 20 due to the uncertainties with the pandemic.

“I understand that this isn’t ideal but we believe that by waiting until then to plan will provide us with the most current CDC restrictions,” Shoemaker said in the letter. “I believe and hope that this date will give families enough time to plan for this important event. Most importantly we feel it is only right for our Seniors to walk across the stage to receive their diploma in the most traditional ceremony possible.”

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