• SBS-TV News

Graduating at Four Winds Field? What you need to know

By Alex Almanza May 25, 2020 9:20 p.m.

Superintendent of South Bend Community School Corporation Dr. Todd Cummings made the announcement last week that seniors will be able to participate in an in-person graduation ceremony later this summer.

In a document obtained by SBS-TV News, it extensively outlines the graduation protocol that ensures that all measures are taken to limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19 and other viruses:

  • All participants including graduates, SBCSC staff, School Board members, and invited guests will be required to wear masks and use hand sanitizer upon entering the venue. Masks will be provided by SBCSC and MUST be worn when entering and exiting the venue.

  • Each graduate will receive either two or four tickets (based on seating capacity and size of graduating class) for guests attending.

  • Individuals in high-risk groups or those who have underlying health conditions should not attend in person and are encouraged to watch from home.

  • Graduations will be live-streamed via YouTube, published online, and made public.

  • A hand sanitizer station will be positioned for graduates as they approach the stage and as they exit the stage.

  • Additional SBCSC staff will supervise graduates to ensure social distancing protocols outlined by the state and local governments are followed before, during, and after each ceremony.

  • From the time doors open, a large screen will display the following message: "Guests should leave the stadium quickly, safely, and limit social interaction. No congregating, picture taking, or other group activities will be allowed on the landing or in parking lots of the stadium."

  • Attendees will be dismissed one section at a time, directed by SBCSC staff, to reduce the number of people exiting at one time.

  • A letter will be sent to graduates and guests outlining health and social distancing guidelines.

  • Graduates will not be handed their diplomas directly; instead, they will pick their diplomas up from a designated table on the stage.

  • All ceremonies will be shorter than normal to limit social interaction and to protect guests from the potentially high temperatures in late July.


  • All principals will wear appropriate regalia in accordance with the level of education. Attire for the day will be provided by the district.

Dr. Cummings has invited the following guests that will be included on the stage for each graduation:

  • Dr. Cummings, Superintendent (1)

  • Dr. Devetski, Chief Academic Officer (1)

  • High school principal (1)

  • Representatives from local higher education institutions (2)

  • The Mayor of South Bend (1)

  • The SBCSC School Board of Trustees (7)

  • Graduate roster announcers (2)

  • Guidance counselors (2)

Total on Stage: (17)

Run of Program

I. (2 minutes) Star Spangled Banner (pre-recorded)

A. Colors (USA, state, and city) already present on stage

II. (5-7 minutes) Welcome from the principal

III. (3-5 minutes) Graduates enter the stadium to Pomp and Circumstance and sit in an area of the stadium directly across from stage, occupying every other seat.

IV. (5 minutes/30 minutes for Adams High School) Valedictorian message

A. pre-recorded and displayed on screen for viewing

V. (35-45 minutes) Presentation of graduates

VI. (1 minute) Principal confirmation of diplomas and fulfillment of graduation requirements

VII. (1 minute) Class president leads turning of tassel

A. Pre-recorded and diaplyed on screen for viewing

VIII. (10 minutes) Graduates exit with assistance from SBCSC staff

IX. Seated guests leave the stage


Dress rehearsals - Thursday, July 23, 2020

4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Adams High School - Friday, July 24, 2020

Doors open at 5:45 p.m.

6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Washington High School - Saturday, July 25, 2020

Doors open at 8:30 a.m.

9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Clay High School - Saturday, July 25, 2020

Doors open at 11:30 a.m.

12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

RISE UP Academy - Saturday, July 25, 2020

Doors open at 2:00 p.m.

2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Riley High School - Saturday, July 25, 2020

Doors open at 4:30 p.m.

5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Back up date for inclement weather - Sunday, July 26, 2020

Equipment considerations

  • Sound and visual

  • covered stage

  • School banner for stage

  • Diploma hand-off table

  • Flowers for stage

  • Misting fans

  • Umbrellas

  • Water stations

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Disinfectant spray

  • Face masks

Staffing Needs

  • All administrative staff from each school

  • Central office administrators: chiefs, directors

  • All high school counselors

  • Directors of school learning

  • Department heads (invite)

  • Security (high school security - paid hourly rate)

  • EMT stations

  • Nurses (one per 25 in attendance - paid hourly rate)


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