Carmel High School planning 3 graduation scenarios – including traditional ceremony May 31


Carmel High School won’t hold in-person classes again this school year, but district administrators are clinging to hope – however slight – that its graduation ceremony can proceed as scheduled.

Graduation is set for 2 p.m. May 31 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Gov. Eric Holcomb’s stay-at-home order is set to expire May 1 but could be extended. Even if restrictions are loosened, the governor might not allow large gatherings by that time.

CCS is working on celebrating graduation in other ways if the traditional ceremony can’t take place May 31. If social distancing is still in place, a modified ceremony could be held as late as July following the rules in place at the time.

At the very least, CCS is planning a “virtual graduation” video that will be posted May 31 whether or not an in-person ceremony of some kind can take place.

“I really appreciate the CHS administrative staff,” CCS Supt. Michael Beresford said at the April 27 virtual school board meeting. “It’s hard to plan one graduation, and they’re working multiple scenarios trying to figure out what we can do to make this special for the class of 2020.”

The district will provide graduation boxes, including a cap and gown, to all seniors on May 11. Approximately 60 bus drivers and CHS staff members will deliver the personalized boxes to each student’s bus stop.

CHS will hold a virtual prom from 9 to 11 p.m. May 2 featuring a DJ, light show and celebrity visits. Students are encouraged to dress up for the occasion and dance – from a proper social distance, of course.

“We’ll be keeping the distance like a junior high dance,” Beresford said.

CHS is planning a summer dance for juniors and seniors that will be held if social distancing restrictions allow. The Center for the Performing Arts has also announced it will hold Prom at the Palladium Aug. 7 and 8 complete with music, dancing, refreshments and more. Learn more at


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