Shawnee Mission, USD 232 to host in-person graduation ceremonies next week — what you need to know

A year after high school commencement was thrown into chaos, both SMSD and USD 232 plan to hold in-person graduation ceremonies next week. Above, seniors in the Class of 2020 at Mill Valley tossed their caps into the air during a COVID-impacted commencement last July that saw strict social distancing and masking guidelines. Photo courtesy USD 232.

Shawnee Mission and USD 232 are planning to host in-person graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2021 next week.

That’s welcome news for seniors and their families, a year after local schools’ commencements were thrown into chaos by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shawnee Mission delayed the Class of 2020’s graduation ceremonies for weeks in the hopes of being able to hold in-person events but ultimately settled on virtual commencements last July.

USD 232 did end up hosted in-person commencements for the district’s two high schools last July but with strict capacity limits, social distancing and mask requirements.

Here’s what you need to know for next week’s ceremonies for both districts:

Shawnee Mission Details

All Shawnee Mission high schools’ ceremonies will be held outdoors and will be live streamed on the district’s YouTube channel, as well as broadcast on local cable channels on the day of each graduation.

Links to each school’s live stream and information about which channel the ceremonies will be aired on are outlined here.

The district says all attendees will be required to wear masks.

Family groups at the ceremonies will be asked to sit at least three feet away from other groups.

Below are the dates and times for each graduation:

USD 232 Details

USD 232 graduation ceremonies will require mask wearing and social distancing if they are held indoors.

If the ceremonies are outdoors, however, masks can be removed when social distance is maintained.

Seniors will also be able to remove their masks during the ceremonies since they will be spaced six feet apart.

Families are asked to maintain appropriate distance between family groups.

USD 232 has inclement weather plans for both its graduation ceremonies.

Below are the details for each ceremony, and the inclement weather plans:

  • De Soto High School — Saturday, May 22, at 11 a.m. If indoors, it will take place in the school’s main gym. If outdoors, it will take place at College Boulevard Activity Center, 11031 S. Valley Road.
  • Mill Valley High School — Saturday, May 22, at 8:30 a.m. at the school’s football field, 5900 Monticello Road. If there’s inclement weather, the ceremony will move to Sunday, May 23 at either 8:30 a.m. or 6 p.m., depending on the weather.