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Number of guests seniors can invite to high school graduation depends on which school they go to

The Anchorage School District says social distancing will limit how many can attend outdoor...
The Anchorage School District says social distancing will limit how many can attend outdoor graduations.(ktuu)
Published: Apr. 21, 2021 at 6:40 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Graduation is right around the corner for Anchorage seniors, and this year the ceremonies will be held outdoors at individual high schools.

An Anchorage Emergency Order (EO20) that lifted the restrictions on gathering sizes at outdoor events, including graduations, had some hopeful the district would increase the number of tickets available for guests. That didn’t happen for every school.

Secondary Education Director Marty Lang explained the city still requires family groups to remain 6 feet apart, which limited how many could attend. Some schools have bigger outdoor stadiums, while others have more students who are graduating.

“At the end of the day we had to look at the number of students who are graduating in the graduating class, and the size of the facility at that site,” he said. And that’s really what determined the number of tickets that we could issue per family, per graduate. And I can tell you, principals have done everything they can to maximize that number.”

Lang said the district considered holding graduation ceremonies in a single outdoor venue, but the Anchorage Football Stadium was the only facility large enough. Lang said the city discouraged that idea since the stadium is situated so close to the Sullivan Arena, which is currently used as a large homeless shelter. He added many ASD principals are excited about holding graduation events at their schools.

This is the breakdown according to the district:

Bartlett: 2 tickets

Chugiak: 5 tickets

Dimond: 5 tickets

Eagle River: 4 tickets

East: 2 tickets

Service: 4 tickets

South: 3 tickets

West: 4 tickets

Lang said the district is doing everything it can to make graduation a special day for seniors and their families. He said every graduation ceremony will be streamed live on the ASD website.

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