Lake school districts outline a return to normal for 2021 graduation ceremonies

Mitch Prentice
Lake Sun Leader
Eldon graduates stand and face the crowd during the closing moments of the 2020 ceremony.

2021 feels like it only just began, but we are already days away from the start of spring. As we move into the warmer months, students get ever closer to graduation and the summer. However, last year saw graduation ceremonies across the country change format in order to integrate social distancing practices. 

Around the lake, ceremonies were mostly held until the summer, with some being postponed as far as July. If things hold up, lake Superintendents don’t anticipate this being the case in 2021. Here’s a full breakdown of the plans for each district.

School of the Osage: 

Superintendent Laura Nelson says the district is working towards traditional graduation festivities in 2021. 

“As you would expect, we are constantly mindful of the safety and security of our students, their families, and our staff. We will continue to monitor the situation and adjust accordingly if needed,” Nelson said.

The district sent out a set of graduation guidelines to parents, outlining much of what is to be expected. The ceremony will be held Thursday, May 13, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. Seniors’ last day of attendance will be Friday, May 7, 2021. A graduation practice ceremony will be held at 12:00 p.m. May 12. There will be a reception for students and their families in the commons area after the ceremony. Project Graduation will follow the reception. For those looking for more information on hour-to-hour graduation instructions and dress code, refer to the school district for the full detailed information. 


Superintendent Tim Hadfield says Camdenton High School's graduation ceremony is scheduled for May 20th at 7:00 pm. Once more, the ceremony is planned to be held at Bob Shore Stadium. In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony would be moved to Ron Hendricks Gymnasium at Camdenton High School. Hadfield did not provide any information as to whether or not there would be COVID-related safety changes to the ceremony in 2021. 

Climax Springs:

Climax Springs Superintendent Caleb Petet says they will be hosting graduation on May 22nd.  The ceremony will be held outside, weather permitting.  Peter says they expect to relax our social distancing and masking to some degree in comparison to the ceremony held in 2020.


Superintendent Matt Davis says Eldon will host graduation on May 16, 2021 at 2 p.m. at Mustang Memorial Park. The district plans to live stream the graduation ceremony. At this point, Davis says they don't have any COVID-related restrictions in place.


Superintendent Steven Barnes says the district is planning to have graduation as planned without restrictions other than requiring a mask to be worn.  The ceremony will also be held outside.  Barnes did not provide a specific date or time. The district calendar also does not state a time. This information will be updated once it is provided.