Sumter School District seniors to have in-person graduations, drive-through proms


As Sumter's high school seniors approach the final two months before they bid their farewell as Gamecocks, Gators and Knights, Sumter School District released its plans for hosting proms and commencement ceremonies as COVID-19 continues.

Superintendent Penelope Martin-Knox distributed a letter to district families on Tuesday informing them of scheduled drive-through proms for the three high schools and in-person graduation ceremonies, after consulting with principals and surveying seniors, she said.

Martin-Knox opened the letter saying the district is extremely proud of its seniors and committed to celebrating the accomplishments and aspirations of the Class of 2021. As plans were made, she said, the district had to remain in compliance with guidelines from the CDC and state public health department.

The drive-through junior and senior proms will be hosted on three consecutive Saturdays in late April and early May. Sumter High School's prom will be Saturday, April 24, followed by Crestwood High on Saturday, May 1, and Lakewood High on Saturday, May 8.

The letter states high school principals will provide more detailed information to their students.


The three high schools will have in-person commencement ceremonies for graduates this year, Martin-Knox added, and all will be held at Sumter Memorial Stadium, the district's largest outdoor facility.

The three principals will also provide their graduates with more detailed information regarding safety procedures, graduation protocols and rehearsals, the letter states.

The in-person, outdoor commencement ceremonies are scheduled for three consecutive mornings in early June. Sumter High's graduation will be Tuesday, June 1, at 9 a.m., followed by Crestwood High on Wednesday, June 2, at 9 a.m., and Lakewood High on Thursday, June 3, at 9 a.m.

Make-up dates at Sumter Memorial Stadium are also listed, in case of inclement weather. Those days are the following: Sumter High, Friday, June 4, 9 a.m.; Crestwood High, Saturday, June 5, 9 a.m.; and Lakewood High, Monday, June 7, at 9 a.m.

Many may recall last year the three high schools had virtual graduation ceremonies, but cap-and-gown, crossing-the-stage video footage of graduates was incorporated into the virtual ceremonies.


According to the letter, Sumter Adult Education and Sumter Career and Technology Center will host virtual commencement ceremonies. As a note, Career and Technology Center graduates also participate in their respective high schools' larger ceremonies.

Sumter Adult Education's virtual commencement is scheduled for Wednesday, June 2, at 7 p.m., and Sumter Career and Technology Center's ceremony is planned for Thursday, June 3, at 6:30 p.m. Both virtual ceremonies will stream on YouTube Premier, and a link will be posted on the district's website ( and Facebook and Twitter pages, according to the release.