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Will in-person commencement ceremonies return to Northland high schools?

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NORTHLAND-- A year ago, high schools everywhere were planning their commencement ceremonies to take place in ways that would keep students and faculty apart to avoid spreading COVID-19.

This year is looking a bit different as high schools across the Northland are now preparing for the return of in-person graduation ceremonies, Hibbing being one of them.

"Last year, of course, we had to be outside and have a drive up, drive through style," said Ranae Seykora, Assistant Principal for Hibbing High School. "But this year we want to go back to, as long as we can be safe go back to our traditional ceremony."

Seniors say they're looking forward to the ceremony and having some normalcy after a very abnormal school year.

Senior Maddy Clusiau adds, "It really means a lot that we can have such a normal graduation, especially after the year we've had."

Mask mandates, social distancing, and capacity limits will all be implemented during the June ceremony.

"Parents of course will be able to attend, the seating or capacity of the auditorium during COVID right now is about 400," said Seykora.

In Duluth, East High School is preparing to hold an in-person ceremony at the Amsoil Arena according to a letter from district leaders to families.

The school will tentatively hold two commencement ceremonies to allow for social distancing.

The commencements will be held several hours apart on the same day.

There will also be assigned seating for guests.

For Hibbing's seniors, they say the commencement ceremony is all about spending time with those they've grown up with.''

"To be able to be there with the class that I've been with since you know, kindergarten. And it's just really exciting that we all get to be together," said Clusiau

Duluth East High School will also implement a mask mandate, all seniors will be given a mask as part of commencement attire.

So far, no word on plans for Denfeld High School's graduation plans.

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Emma Quinn

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