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Bismarck Public Schools hold outdoor, social distance graduation for three schools

(KFYR)
Published: May. 24, 2020 at 9:49 PM CDT
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It's graduation season and many schools are having virtual ceremonies this year because of the pandemic. But students in Bismarck's three public high schools, got to celebrate in person, with some safety precautions.

It's a day students dream of.

"Good afternoon ladies and gentleman," said Century High School principal, Steve Madler to a crowd of seniors.

But COVID-19 made this special day uncertain.

"There was a lot more planning," said Madler.

Steve Madler said Bismarck Public Schools and the school board worked with community leaders to find a venue that fits social distancing guidelines.

"It's a sign of relief. We certainly wanted to be able to have a day, we wanted the kids to be able to have their ceremony," said Madler.

Three graduations were held at the MDU Resources Community Bowl for Bismarck, Century and Legacy High and for the first time ever, an outdoor ceremony. Students share messages of hope after a historic school year.

"The Class of 2020 is a strong class. We're resilient, we're strong. We have the best future in front of us," said Century High School Class of 2020 graduate, Ella Fridley.

Other students said they're grateful for one last chance to see their classmates.

"I haven't seen my classmates for almost three months and now getting back together to see all their faces for the last time it's...it's crazy. I don't know if it's hit me yet but it will eventually and I'm just thankful that I'm here and we're able to do this," said CHS Class of 2020 graduate, Grant Anderson.

Graduates and families were socially distanced six feet apart and faculty wore gloves to hand out diplomas as they continue on to the next chapter of their lives.

Steve Madler said the pandemic wasn't the only thing that made this graduation unique, His daughter graduated from Bismarck High School Sunday. After each ceremony, crews cleaned the stands following CDC guidelines.