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Sarasota Friday, Mar. 26, 2021 8 months ago

Sarasota schools plan outdoor graduation ceremonies

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The ceremonies will largely be held at Ed Smith Stadium.
by: Brynn Mechem Staff Writer

Last year, the class of 2020 dealt with postponed graduations, drive-thru ceremonies and in some cases, no ceremony at all. 

This year, school leaders are trying to deliver graduation ceremonies while maintaining COVID-19 protocols, which has prompted most graduations to be moved outdoors. 

“Because of COVID-19, it’s been very difficult having our graduations where we have had them in the past,” Superintendent Brennan Asplen. 

For example, Asplen said if Riverview High School were to hold its ceremony in Robarts Arena like normal, it would have to hold three ceremonies to allow from proper social distancing. 

Instead of multiple ceremonies for each school, seniors from Booker High School, Riverview High School, Sarasota High School and Suncoast Polytechnical High School can expect their ceremonies to be held in Ed Smith Stadium. 

Venice High School and North Port High School will hold their ceremonies in their football stadiums. Pine View School will still hold its graduation at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall with limited capacity and Oak Park school will hold its ceremony at the school’s gymnasium. 

Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School also made the decision to hold its graduation outdoors, though its ceremony will be held in Bradenton at LECOM Park. Each of the school’s 116 graduates will be allowed up to 10 guests. 

It is still unclear how many tickets each Sarasota County student will be allowed. 

Graduations are scheduled for the following dates: 

May 14

Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School — 7 p.m. at LECOM Park, 1611 9th St. W, Bradenton

June 3

North Port High School — 7:30 p.m. on the North Port High School football field, 6400 W Price Blvd., North Port

Suncoast Polytechnical High School — 8 p.m. at Ed Smith Stadium, 2700 12th St., Sarasota

June 4

Oak Park School — 2 p.m. in the Oak Park gymnasium, 7285 Proctor Road, Sarasota

Venice High School — 8 p.m. on the Venice High School football field, 1 Indian Ave., Venice

Sarasota High School — 8 p.m. at Ed Smith Stadium, 2700 12th St., Sarasota

June 5

Booker High School — 9 a.m. at Ed Smith Stadium, 2700 12th St., Sarasota

Riverview High School — 8 p.m. at Ed Smith Stadium, 2700 12th St., Sarasota

June 6

Pine View School — 2 p.m. at Van Wezel Performing Arts Center 

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