Marion County seniors prepare for graduation, officials look to the fall

FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Marion County high school seniors will have two graduation ceremonies- a video ceremony and a delayed in-person ceremony for each school. In order for the in-person ceremonies to be held Superintendent Randall Farley says the “stay at home” directive must be lifted by the Governor Justice and it must follow guidance from the Marion County Health Department and the CDC.

“I feel really bad for these kids, that they are not being able to experience some of the time-honored traditions that we’ve typically done for our senior classes,” Farley said.

Below is the planned list of ceremonies:

East Fairmont High School, June 27, 7:00 PM at East-West Stadium
Rain Date: June 29, 7:00 PM at East-West Stadium

Fairmont Senior High School, June 26, 7:00 PM at East-West Stadium
Rain Date: June 28, 7:00 PM at East-West Stadium

North Marion High School, June 26, 7:00 PM on Roy Michael Field at Woodcutters’ Stadium
Rain Date: June 27, 7:00 PM on Roy Michael Field at Woodcutters’ Stadium

Farley says they’re going to make the best of the situation.

“For right now we’ve planned, if we’re allowed to do so in late June, to have the students sitting on the field outside in the open, six-feet apart with masks, doing all the right things,” Farley said

Farley acknowledges the situation is changing daily, sometimes hourly.

“What are the guidelines when we get there and how have they changed and what can we do to allow as many as possible?” Farley said,”If we can’t have everybody there we’ll try to livestream it as well.”

Farley says the last few weeks have presented learning challenges related to connectivity and access to computers. Marion County students are not equipped with Chromebooks like other communities, making every situation different.

“This situation certainly has brought on the challenges of remote instruction,” Farley said,”Some families have devices, some do not, some families have connectivity, some do not.”

Farley is hoping there will be CARES Act funding that could support the purchase of Chromebooks or fund other ways to deliver instruction remotely. But, he says because every student learns differently assessments will be needed to meet them where they are academically in fall.

“Where students are against a set of standards they should have completed and where they are against a set of standards that they would be responsible for in the coming year,” Farley said.