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Mifflin County senior class officers want a drive-thru graduation

MCSD board considers restrictions

LEWISTOWN — Senior class officers at Mifflin County High School would prefer to hold a drive-thru graduation in a similar style to last year when given the option to hold the ceremony at Mitchell Field.

Chief Operations Officer Vance Varner explained to the district’s board of directors Thursday that COVID-19 restrictions of six-feet apart per cohort would require students to limit the number of tickets each student could get no more than four. Restrictions would also cause the ceremony to be spread over three nights.

Varner explained that, when asked, student class officers prefer to have the option to have more family at the ceremony.

Varner stated that there is a chance that guidelines put in place by the Pennsylvania Department of Health could change prior to graduation.

If a drive-thru style graduation were to take place again this year, Varner said it would be over two nights.

Varner and Superintendent James Estep voiced pessimism regarding the idea of being able to keep nonfamilies six feet apart and voiced concern related to the possibility of being a superspreader.

Varner said he would need some direction from the board of directors to move forward.

Graduation is slated for June 3.

In other business, Athletic Director Tish Maclay asked the board to develop a policy for adding and eliminating sports.

Maclay suggested looking at things like student interest and sustainability to determine whether to continue offering a sport and when they should be considered clubs.

One example she used was the addition of a lacrosse club two years ago, which she said has grown in sustainability, but since it is considered a club, it isn’t eligible for the Mid-Penn Conference.

Another issue that has come up, she said, is whether to continue offering a swim team.

She said the swim team currently only has five students, three of which are seniors.

“That’s a massive expense for such low numbers,” she said.

Board member Frederick Nickel said he felt strongly that a swim team should be offered — and even that it should be taught at an elementary level.

“Swimming is important and I think somebody needs to look at why we don’t have any interest. I’d hate to lose swimming,” he said.

Estep said an option for the future maybe still keep swimming, but consider it a club sport at some point down the road.

Also, with the board’s OK, Maclay will also pursue grant funding to construct a new turf field and lights at Highland Park.

A budget workshop meeting will be held at 6 p.m. April 29.

There will also be a special voting meeting at 6 p.m. May 6 to vote on a request for proposal for work on the HVAC system at Lewistown Elementary School.

An executive session to discuss charter funding litigation will be held May 20.

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