Waupaca to hold indoor graduation
Prom, commencement planned for June
By Robert Cloud
The Waupaca School Board approved administration proposals to hold the 2021 commencement, prom and eighth-grade promotion ceremony indoors.
Waupaca High School will hold its graduation ceremony indoors at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 6.
Prom will be held from 7-9 p.m. Saturday, June 12.
District Administrator Ron Saari told the board at its April 13 meeting that a growing number of people have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
“Over 81% of our staff is vaccinated,” Saari said. “We’re reaching herd immunity, according to our medical advisers.”
According to the Wisconsin Department of Public Health, 33.8% of Waupaca County residents have received at lease one dose of the covid vaccine, while 26.3% have completed the series, as of April 19.
Statewide, 40.2% of the population has received at least one dose, while 27.7% have completed the series.
Saari noted that over the previous four weeks, 2,570 vaccinations had been administered per week in Waupaca County.
“By the beginning of June, over 20,000 individuals in Waupaca County will be vaccinated,” Saari said.
He also said that as of April 5, Wisconsin had made all those age 16 and older eligible for the vaccine.
More than 3% of 16-17 year-old Wisconsinites have been vaccinated, as of April 14.
“The overall student reaction to the virus is much less threatening than to the older population,” Saari said.
Saari said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported children are less likely to become infected than adults, less likely to suffer severe consequences and less likely to transmit the infection to others.
Health safety strategies
Waupaca High School initiated several health safety strategies when it opened its doors in the fall of 2020.
In addition to enhanced cleaning and disinfection, school facilities have higher air exchange rates than recommended by the CDC.
The district also installed an ionization system in its heating, ventilation and air conditioning that eliminates 99-100% of all bacteria, viruses and allergens from the air in every room.
As a further precaution, Saari said graduation will be held on a non-school day, during the weekend, at the end of the school year.
At graduation, families will sit together, but be physically separated from other families.
The bleachers in the gym will be marked with 400 Xs, each 10 feet apart, to help ensure social distancing.
Those attending the ceremony will be required to wear masks.
Each graduating senior will be allowed to have four guests.