It’s official: while some schools are taking a virtual approach to graduation, Winterset High School seniors will have a chance to walk up the steps of the Madison County Courthouse to receive their key to the future.

Because of the way in which diplomas are going to be distributed, the normal one-hour graduation program is going to take a bit longer.

Graduation ceremonies for the Winterset High School class of 2020 will be Sunday, May 31, at 2:30 p.m. (if weather becomes a factor, the program would begin at 11 a.m.).

The plan is for graduating seniors and their families to start assembling around 2 p.m. at the East Court Avenue soccer fields, where students would be provided directions. Vehicles will be lined up in alphabetical order, (limit two per family), with the graduate as a passenger, according to the student’s last name and the time they have been assigned. Vehicles may include school appropriate decorations, if desired, to honor the graduate.

Vehicles will continue to approach the courthouse from the east on Court Avenue up to John Wayne Drive, where school personnel will direct them as they wait their turn. Preparing to receive their diploma on the south steps of the Madison County Courthouse, graduates will drive to the courthouse sidewalk, exit the vehicle, walk up the steps to receive their diploma and then proceed to the corner of First Avenue and Court to be retrieved by family. 

The ceremony will be live-streamed on the Winterset School’s Facebook page and recorded. Photographers also will be taking pictures throughout the commencement, and placed online where they may be downloaded. 

Court Avenue will be blocked off to spectators. 

Observers may park on Court Avenue from Second Avenue to Eighth Avenue, or on Husky Drive to watch the graduates and family recessional/parade, which will pass by the Winterset High School after graduation is completed. It may take several hours.

According to CDC regulations, spectators are asked to remain in their vehicles at all times and may use downtown parking spots other than those on Court Avenue. All attendees are asked to practice social distancing and if it is recommended at the time, to also wear masks.

Speeches, music, and the ceremony will be featured on a video. A link will be provided for graduates and their families within a few days of the commencement, so all can enjoy the memories for years to come.

Managing editor at the Madisonian.