The Bounceback: Smithville graduation on schedule for July

Smithville teachers and their families gathered in downtown Smithville for a car parade earlier this spring to honor graduating seniors. While families were unsure if a graduation would happen, the district is planning to move forward with plans to hold a graduation ceremony July 18. The venue of graduation remains to be decided.

SMITHVILLE — While many school district activities have been canceled in recent months due to coronavirus and related health precautions, Smithville School District leaders said graduation is scheduled to happen, summer school is moving forward virtually and plans for fall semester are currently being discussed.

Graduation

Graduation for Smithville High School students is scheduled for Saturday, July 18.

While conversations continue about where graduation will take place and what it will look like, district leaders have narrowed down a couple of options. Currently, district leaders are talking with Silverstein Eye Centers Arena in Independence as a venue possibility.

“The other option is outdoor at the (local school) stadium,” Director of Human Resources Ashley Jones said.

If held at the stadium, Athletic Trainer Gini Fite, who updated Community in Action sector representatives during a recent meeting this month, said there will likely be three graduating groups of about 75 students each.

When details are finalized, the district will send information to families and post it online at the district site: smithvilleschooldistrict.org.

Summer school

Summer school in the Smithville School District is going to look significantly different this year due to coronavirus, said district leaders.

“In grades one through eight, the in-person program was invitation only based upon student need,” Assistant Superintendent of Academic Services Michelle Kratofil said. “Any student in grades one through eight is able to participate in the online summer program.”

For those who are in kindergarten, Kratofil said there are in-person, two-week sessions. Registration for all summer school programs is closed and all programs begin July 6.

Coming school year

As some families may feel anxious about sending students back to school facilities this fall, Superintendent Todd Schuetz provided an update on the school district decision-making process for reopening school for the 2020-21 school year.

“We’ve been surveying parents,” Schuetz said.

Preliminary results from those family surveys, which continue to be conducted and cataloged, show most families who answered feel comfortable sending students back to buildings in the fall.

As data continues to come in, Schuetz said the district is also considering a possible hybrid approach to school’s return, where some students will arrive in-person and others may be taught virtually. The discussion is ongoing and more information will be published when available.

Northwest Editor Sean Roberts can be reached at sean.roberts@mycouriertribune.com or 389-6606.

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