The Lac Courte Oreilles Oreilles Ojibwe School will honor its 12th grade graduates at 1 p.m. Friday, May 29, with a ceremony in the Theresa Williams Gymnasium that is closed to the public.

LCO K-12 School Administrator Jessica Hutchison said, “As is the case with most schools across the country, the COVID-19 crisis has impacted the 2020 graduation plans at the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe School. 

“However, due to the nature of a very small graduating class this year and the strong belief that our students in particular need to experience the right of passage of walking across the stage to receive their diploma if at all possible within safe guidelines, the following modifications to the 2020 graduation ceremony will be made,” Hutchison said.

The graduation plan for the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe School in coordination with our local School Board and Tribal Council, will be as follows:

>An in person ceremony will take place in the Theresa Williams Gymnasium at 1 p.m. May 29. 

>The ceremony will be closed to the public.

>Graduates will be allowed two guests in person. There are eight graduates this year, with one student unable to attend in person.

>Guests will be required to use only the main entrance and are asked to arrive at 12:45 p.m. to reduce traffic within the building.

>The ceremony will be live-streamed on the LCO school YouTube channel and recorded and aired on the school Facebook page and website.

>School staff present will be limited to administration, advisors and information technology personnel.

>Guest speakers and presenters will be limited and socially distanced on the stage.

>The regular meal and cake following the ceremony will be canceled.

>Federally recommended safety precautions including a hand sanitation station, masks for guests, clustered and distanced seating will be in place.

“With these restrictions in place, the anticipated total number of people present for the ceremony is anticipated to be less than 50 in a space that is over 291,000 square feet,” Hutchison said. “This is not a decision that was made in haste or without a thorough investigation of the risks and in communication with the Lac Courte Oreilles School Board.”

Any questions or concerns regarding the ceremony should be directed to Hutchison’s office at 715-634-8924, Extension 1229 .

(Copyright © 2020 APG Media)

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