District 51 announces graduation plans for Class of 2021

District 51 will hold in-person graduation ceremonies starting on Monday, May 17th.
District 51 will hold in-person graduation ceremonies starting on Monday, May 17th.(kkco/kjct)
Published: Mar. 15, 2021 at 5:43 PM MDT|Updated: Mar. 15, 2021 at 8:36 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - School District 51 has announced plans to hold in-person graduation ceremonies for all high school students this May.

The week of ceremonies will begin Monday, May 17th, at 6 p.m. Most graduations will be held at Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction. It has not yet been decided exactly how many people will be allowed to attend.

The school district says holding a graduation ceremony in person, with families attending, is an important step for the community.

“These students have worked so hard for so long, and graduation is just a culmination of that effort,” says Catherine Foster, Communications Specialist for District 51 schools. “It’s a big thing for families to come together and celebrate their student. If we can put on a graduation in person for families, we feel like that’s really important.”

The school district has been working with Mesa County Public Health on safety protocols. Masks will be required while walking around the stadium, but not while families are seated.

“We do want it to be as normal this go around as possible,” says Katie Smith, Outreach and Education Branch Director for Mesa County Public Health. “Having some family members in attendance, and we are encouraging alternative options to celebrate seniors and their accomplishments.”

Most graduations will be held in the evening, usually starting at 6 p.m. Palisade High School kicks off the week on Monday, May 17th, followed by Fruita Monument High School’s ceremony on May 18th. Grand Junction High School’s ceremony will take place on May 19th, with Central High School wrapping up the week of celebration on Thursday, May 20th.

Last year’s ceremonies were held next door at Suplizio Field, with limited attendance. This year, District 51 will go back to their traditional location, holding six different graduation ceremonies over four days at Stocker Stadium.

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