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Weather threatens Bismarck schools' graduation plans for Sunday

Weather threatens Bismarck schools' graduation plans for Sunday


Inclement weather in the forecast is threatening to put a damper on planned graduation ceremonies that had already been tenuous due to the coronavirus.

Bismarck Public Schools on Friday announced that it still plans to hold graduation ceremonies for each of its three high schools -- Century, Bismarck High and Legacy -- at noon, 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Sunday, respectively. After consulting with the National Weather Service, schools officials believe the best time to avoid the rain and thunderstorms forecast for this weekend will be from midday Sunday to Monday morning. Several contingency plans are in place based on this window.

Parents and graduates looking to attend will need to watch for communication from the district if the times or dates do change.

South Central High School, Bismarck’s alternative high school, is holding three separate ceremonies to accommodate social distancing measures for its 36 graduating seniors at 4 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Friday.

Shiloh Christian School in Bismarck will make a final decision by noon Saturday if its graduation ceremony will be held as planned at 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Contingency plans include having the ceremony at a different time on Sunday or Monday.

St. Mary's Central High School intends to hold a "controlled" ceremony for parents and graduates at 3:30 p.m. Sunday on its campus. 

Mandan High School's graduation ceremony is set for 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Starion Sports Complex. Administrators shifted it from its originally scheduled time on Sunday afternoon after consulting with the National Weather Service earlier this week.

Ceremonies set for this weekend will have to accommodate the social distancing guidelines and other protocols issued by the state regarding graduation ceremonies. Many have implemented a ticket system to limit the number of in-person attendees.

All ceremonies will be livestreamed for those who cannot attend in person. Links can be found on the schools' websites.

Reach Bilal Suleiman at 701-250-8261 or


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