Cloquet High School aims to host prom, graduation outdoors

The district is tentatively planning for a unique 2021 prom and graduation in the COVID-19 pandemic.

File: Cloquet graduation.jpg
Cloquet senior Joe Tomshe accepts his cap and gown from Shelley Robideaux on May 9, 2020. Seniors drove through the high school parking lot to get their caps, gowns, yearbooks and a gift bag. The class of 2021 is scheduled to graduate May 28. (Jamie Lund / File / Pine Journal)

Cloquet High School has begun finalizing prom and graduation set to take place this spring, with plans to host both events outdoors due to COVID-19 guidelines.

District organizers believe they will be able to safely host prom and graduation outdoors under recently updated guidelines from the Minnesota departments of health and education.

According to high school Principal Steve Battaglia, prom is scheduled for May 8, with large tents and dancing in the high school parking lot. There will be a virtual grand march for families to view.

"This will allow for better air flow and a reduced risk of transmission," he said. "We still have many details to work out, but we are planning to have an event."

The district is planning an outdoor full-class graduation May 28 at the football field. Battaglia noted there will be a backup plan consisting of numerous mini-ceremonies held in the school auditorium in case of inclement weather.



  • Cloquet seniors get caps, gowns via drive-thru They also received yearbooks, awards and prizes while their families and friends cheered from vehicles.
  • Carlton County graduations come into focus Carlton County schools' staff and parents developed a variety graduation ceremonies to cope with social distancing requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Virtual prom is on in the Northland “Clearly, we can’t replace the prom, but maybe we can give them an outlet to listen to some music."

He said they are also in the midst of working with a parent group to possibly coordinate an all-night graduation party following the ceremony.
Battaglia emphasized that all events are fluid and subject to change depending on the evolving pandemic situation.

"We’re confident we can pull off these large events," he said. "They won’t be like normal, but they’ll certainly be memorable and unique."

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