HANNIBAL — Hannibal High School is preparing for its annual midterm graduation, which will occur about a month later than in previous years.
“In the past, midterm graduation occurred in December as that is when the semester ended,” said HHS Principal Ted Sampson. “A new law put into place for this year required that schools could not start as early as in prior years. When the district calendar was proposed last spring it was determined our semester would end in late January. This decision made midterm graduation be pushed back until Thursday, Jan. 21.”
The month in which the midterm graduation will occur is not the only change that will be implemented.
“Midterm graduation normally takes place in the HHS auditorium. This year it will be held in Korf Gymnasium to allow social distancing,” Sampson said.
“We will try to put some kind of marking on the bleachers so that families can sit together and still be there for their student,” said Superintendent Susan Johnson during the December meeting of the Hannibal Board of Education.
Attendance to the event will be limited as a COVID-19 virus precaution.
“Each student will be given four tickets for guests to attend the ceremony,” Sampson said.
According to Johnson, those attending will be asked to wear a mask.
The school district will accommodate those wishing to see the graduation but are not fortunate enough to secure a ticket.
“The ceremony will be live streamed to allow additional individuals to view it from the safety of their own home,” Sampson said.
According to the HHS principal, an average of between 40 and 50 students choose to graduate midyear annually. About 50 students are expected to receive their HHS diploma next week.
The school district hopes to make the graduation ceremony memorable.
“It is obviously an important event,” Johnson said.
“We are looking forward to honoring our midterm graduates as they transition from Hannibal High School to their intended post-secondary pathway,” Sampson added.
Mid-term graduation will begin at 6 p.m.