RCAS: July 26 in-person graduation canceled
RAPID CITY, S.D. — On Tuesday, Rapid City officials and RCAS leadership announced that the in-person high school graduation, which was originally scheduled for July 26, has been canceled.
In a letter to the families of 2020 Graduates, RCAS said,
“Holding graduation would have required four separate ceremonies in order to physically distance the hundreds of graduates on the arena floor. Tickets would have been greatly limited, and in the end the ceremony would have looked very similar to the virtual graduation.”
RCAS also considered holding ceremonies outdoors, but guidance from the local health community suggested to not hold graduation in that way, given that it would convene a large, multi-generational crowd.
After careful consideration and with the consultation of medical experts, the step is taken out of an abundance of caution as the number of COVID-19 cases has consistently increased in Pennington County and in west river.
RCAS also said,
“Further, our priority must be on mitigating risks that could negatively impact our ability to return students to school with the opening of the new school year and keeping our students and families safe.”
The letter also said,
“With tourists continuing to visit South Dakota, a major event taking place at Mount Rushmore on July 4th, and with the impending Rally, local medical experts believe it is unlikely that we will see that trend change in the next few weeks.”