Graduation back on the football field


ROCHELLE — Taking it back to the field, Rochelle Township High School graduation will be outdoors once again. 

Principal Chris Lewis reached out to members of the Class of 2021 in a memo recently with an apology for all they have missed due to the Coronavirus and a promise of good news to come.  

“We are working with the guidelines from the Illinois Department of Public Health on an outdoor graduation ceremony on the football field. We think we can do one ceremony with the entire class and give you some tickets for your family,” he wrote. “How many tickets will be determined later.” 

Graduation is on the calendar for 10 a.m. Saturday, May 29. Lewis explained that, even though they’ll be limited to 20 percent capacity, the stadium is large enough to accommodate all the families. Presently, each graduate will get two tickets, possibly more, but that will be determined at a later date.

“If it looks like rain, we will push it later in the day. If it looks like an all-day rain, we will reschedule it to a later date,” Lewis explained. “We understand your parents are planning family celebrations, so we will try to communicate the backup plan as soon as possible. We will have a senior meeting in April with more specific details of the plan.” 

Lewis added that graduation will roll if there’s light rain, so plan accordingly.

Not there yet

In the meantime, he advised seniors to check these boxes to ensure graduation: 

  • Work on grades to ensure passing grades so as to participate in the ceremony
  • Order a cap and gown at https://www.ringsandgowns.com/
  • Or find a cap and gown to borrow from a recent graduate

This will be the first time RTHS graduation is outdoors since they were at the old school location and graduations were held on Helms Field. The new campus opened in 2004.

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