Manhattan High School 2019 Commencement

Manhattan High School graduates toss their caps into the air after the commencement ceremony at Bramlage Coliseum in May 2019.

Manhattan High School’s class of 2020 will get its chance to walk across the stage on Aug. 2, school officials announced this week.

After the pandemic canceled the school’s regular commencement at Bramlage Coliseum, principal Michael Dorst said the school looked for ways to still have the ceremony, albeit later in the summer. And even though the ceremony will happen under different circumstances, Dorst said the need for commencement is greater than ever.

“This will be a ceremony to celebrate them getting to this point and recognizing their sacrifices,” Dorst said. “This was not easy for anybody, especially with the amount of loss our seniors experienced and how quickly (their senior year) was taken away. Nobody had a chance to say goodbye with their friends on the last day before spring break, yet that was the last day they were in the building.”

The August ceremony will be held at Bishop Stadium. Dorst said given current university restrictions on campus events, it would have been impossible to plan for a ceremony at the K-State venue. In any case, school officials are working through the logistics of holding an outdoor ceremony.

The school is surveying seniors and their families to determine what their preferences might be for graduation, as well as how many guests they expect will attend. Dorst said the school will use this to determine if multiple ceremonies might be required that day to follow social distancing.

“I don’t have a crystal ball,” Dorst said. “I can’t tell you what limitations we’ll have from the local health department or Gov. Laura Kelly’s orders. I can’t tell you what the capacity is at Bishop right now, but we have maps and measurements, and we understand the six-foot distancing that’s required. Depending on how many seniors want to take part in graduation and what our limitations are, we’ll figure out how many guests each graduate can have.”

Should the pandemic disrupt the August ceremony, seniors would still have the chance to walk at a future ceremony, Dorst said.

K-State moves

to phase 2

of reopening

Alongside Gov. Laura Kelly’s orders to move the state into phase 2 of the Plan to Reopen Kansas, K-State has moved into phase 2 of its reopening plan Friday.

Under phase 2, the university has begun to allow gatherings of up to 15 people, as long as those people maintain social distancing and hygiene guidelines. Employees returning to campus are asked to clean surfaces they touch often, avoid shaking hands and complete training on proper mask usage, but most employees are encouraged to still work remotely if possible.

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 must isolate for at least 10 days from the start of symptoms or until they are fever free for 72 hours. Those waiting for test results must remain isolated, and anyone who has come in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case must remain in quarantine for at least 14 days since last exposure.

USD 383 meal sites switch to summer operations

The Manhattan-Ogden school district’s child nutrition department is switching to summer operations.

The sites will serve a hot lunch on Monday along with a cold breakfast and lunch for Tuesday. Cafeteria workers will serve a hot lunch on Wednesdays while also handing out two cold breakfasts and two cold lunches for Thursdays and Fridays.

Parents will be able to use the meal permits distributed earlier in the department’s switch to remote feeding sites, so children do not need to be present at the drive-through sites.

The following meal sites will be open between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays:

  • Amanda Arnold
  • Bluemont
  • Marlatt
  • Northview
  • Ogden
  • Woodrow Wilson
  • Theodore Roosevelt
  • Redbud Estates
  • Hillside Apartments

The Colonial Gardens Mobile Home Park and Highland Ridge Apartments sites will be open between 11:15 and 11:45 a.m., while the Riverchase Mobile Home Park and Scenic Woods Apartments sites will be open between noon and 12:30 p.m.

Stephanie Smith, director of child nutrition, said the free meal program will continue through July 29.

Donations, grants

The Manhattan-Ogden school board accepted $29,040 in donations and grants at its Wednesday meeting.

  • The Ogden Friendship House United Methodist Church granted $2,700 to Ogden Elementary School for garden supplies.
  • Riley County Raising Riley donated $12,000 to Eugene Field Early Learning Center for behavioral and mental health support personnel and granted $12,040 to College Hill Early Learning Center for reduced fees for families.
  • The Human Resource Management Program donated $500 to Manhattan High for signage promoting the business program.
  • The Frank Bergman Elementary PTO donated $1,800 to the school for the Reading Counts Transition subscription.

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