Dear Uniontown Area High School Graduate and Family,
You are all aware of the toll Covid-19 has taken on social interaction, and in particular, on most normal graduating class activities. Uniontown Area School District is pleased to announce an option for an in-person socially distant commencement program which differs significantly from the normal event. The key element to this option is a personal commitment by each graduate and guest to follow governmental and school requirements.
Commencement will be held on the 4th of June 2020 beginning at 4:00pm in the Margaret Emelson Auditorium at the Uniontown Area High School as is typical to avoid weather interference. This graduation ceremony is optional, and by invitation only. Participation requires completing an application online. All graduates submitting a timely and fully complete application will be issued an invitation with a scheduled arrival time. No one should arrive more than 10 minutes before their scheduled time.
Only the graduate and no more than four (4) guests for a maximum total of five (5) people will be permitted in the building. All participants must arrive in the same vehicle, and one additional person is required to serve as the driver, who shall remain in the vehicle at all times. All graduates are required to wear their cap and gown. No markings, decorations, or messages are permitted to be displayed on the cap or the gown.
The graduate and guests are to access the Wilson Avenue parking lot via the alley adjacent to the church at the scheduled time. Everyone must remain in their vehicle at all times and maintain social distancing requirements. Security will direct vehicles when to proceed to the Auditorium entrance on Fayette Street. Everyone is to remain in the vehicle until directed by staff, then the graduate and up to two guests shall proceed to a health and security screening location. No personal items may be carried into the building. Everyone entering the building must wear a mask that covers both the nose and the mouth. Participants are hereby reminded that all security restrictions are in effect. Any infraction of social distancing requirements and/or discovery of prohibited items will result in requiring everyone in the group to leave the premises, without participating in graduation.
Once all participants are cleared for health and security, the group will be directed where to enter the building. The driver is to move the vehicle to the Grant Street parking lot and must maintain the order of drop-off to facilitate pick-up after graduation. Once again, the driver must remain in the vehicle at all times which is estimated to be 10 minutes. Please note that restroom facilities will not be available for this event.
As the group enters the building, they will be directed to one of two lines and shall proceed directly to the rear of the auditorium where they will be given the diploma and wait for stage availability. Once the prior graduate leaves the stage, the next graduate is to proceed to the stage, and guests are to move to a defined observation location. Once on stage the graduate may remove their mask until the announcement is complete.
The graduation ceremony will be videotaped and broadcast via our YouTube channel. A professional photographer will be on hand to take the graduate’s picture as they receive their diploma.
Masks must then be returned for facial coverage, and the group is to proceed out the rear of the auditorium, as directed, where their vehicle has been sent for pick-up. This will conclude the activities, and the vehicle is to immediately leave the campus.
This plan provides for social separation of roughly ten (10) feet between the group and anyone else while in the building, except for the health and security screenings. Staff performing this screening will be utilizing personal protective equipment (PPE) for the safety of the program participants, and their personal safety. The District has formulated these plans with participant protection along with CDC and Pa Department of Health requirement in mind. However, the nature of Covid-19 and human nature are beyond the District’s control and each individual agrees to participate at their own risk. This commencement program is optional, and anyone in a high-risk category or uncomfortable with these plans should not participate.
If you have questions or need special assistance or accommodations, please contact the school at 724-439-5000.
We appreciate your understanding, support and cooperation as we continue to travel through uncharted territory.
We are extremely proud of our Class of 2020, all of their accomplishments, and the sacrifices they have endured due to the Coronavirus