LPS moving to in-person graduation ceremonies July 24-26

Lincoln Public Schools announced an update Tuesday about in-person graduation ceremonies for all six high schools July 24, 25 and 26, at Pinnacle Bank Arena. The plans are tentative and will be based on the health directives in place by local health officials during that weekend.

“We appreciate the comments and questions regarding the announcement last night on our initial graduation plans. After hearing the Governor’s new health measures that were released Monday afternoon, LPS had extensive conversations with the Lincoln Lancaster County Health Department on Tuesday,” said superintendent Steve Joel. “We will follow the health departments recommendations on procedures we can put in place to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.”

Based on health directives, some of those procedures will include:

  • Face coverings required for graduates, staff and audience members.
  • There will be no live music performances.
  • Graduates will sit physically distanced on the floor in alphabetical order. This will aid in any possible contact tracing.
  • Depending on health directives at the time, there may be limits on the audience size and that will be communicated ahead of time.
  • During the ceremony, remarks will be made by the superintendent, principals, board members and selected student speakers.
  • Graduates will be announced as they walk across the stage and receive their diploma from a staff member wearing gloves.
  • Hand sanitizer will be provided for graduates as they enter the stage area.
  • There will not be any handshakes, hugs, elbow bumps or high fives.
  • Enough time will be allowed between each ceremony for cleaning and sanitizing.

More information with specific details will be provided to graduates and their families in the weeks leading up to the ceremonies and will be based on current health directives.

The ceremonies are tentatively planned at Pinnacle Bank Arena as follows:

Friday, July 24

  • Northeast High School, 6 p.m.

Saturday, July 25

  • Southwest High School, 8:30 a.m.
  • East High School, 1:30 p.m.
  • North Star High School, 6:30 p.m.

Sunday, July 26

  • Southeast High School, 12 p.m. (noon)
  • Lincoln High School, 5:30 p.m.

In addition to the in-person ceremonies, pre-recorded virtual ceremonies featuring every LPS Class of 2020 graduate and scheduled speakers will air on Sunday, July 26, on 10/11’s MeTV channel. These will also air on LPS and high school social media.

The pre-recorded virtual graduations will follow the original graduation schedule:

  • Northeast High School at 12:00 p.m. (noon)
  • Southwest High School at 1:30 p.m.
  • East High School at 3:00 p.m.
  • North Star High School at 4:30 p.m.
  • Southeast High School at 6:00 p.m.
  • Lincoln High School at 7:30 p.m.

To help celebrate, the Lincoln Journal Star has developed special graduation webpages for each high school. LPS graduating seniors and families can submit information to the Lincoln Journal Star’s website: https://journalstar.com/virtual_graduations/submit_profile/. The community can view the graduation pages by going to: https://journalstar.com/virtual_graduations/.

“We appreciate our community media partners stepping up to help us honor our graduating seniors in this big and unique way,” Joel added. “While our seniors missed one of life’s greatest celebration milestones, we hope they feel the community coming together to embrace them and honor their accomplishments.”