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Virtual and traditional graduations planned

By Staff | Apr 28, 2020

The Class of 2020 will have two graduation ceremonies, one virtual in June and a traditional graduation in July, if all goes well.

“The purpose of the virtual ceremony is to hold a graduation as close to the end of school as possible that recognizes the entire class while still meeting CDC guidelines,” School District of Lee County spokesperson Rob Spicker said in an email. “The second ceremony is a more traditional one and planned for a time when the CDC will again allow for large gatherings. Not every student will be able to attend a ceremony in July. Some will have gone off to college, some to the military and some to work by then and it wouldn’t be fair for them to have not been honored near the end of school.”

According to the district, all high schools will hold a virtual graduation ceremony at the beginning of June. The district also is working to secure venues for July dates, should Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines permit.

He said that both ceremonies will take place with the hope that every student is able to attend the virtual and traditional graduation.

The graduation plans were initially shared during a Lee Count School Board meeting on April 21 when Superintendent Dr. Greg Adkins answered Board Member Chris Patricca’s question about asking if the district could take the word “cancellation” off the table when talking about high school graduation. Patricca further said “cancellation is not an option in Lee County.”

Adkins replied that they were looking at two different options, or a combination of the two, a virtual graduation, and a postponement of a graduation until July.

“One is virtual graduation that will give recognition to each and every one of our students virtually,” he said at the meeting. “But we are also pursuing a graduation postponement that will occur at this point possibly sometime in July with social distancing.”

Adkins said they still had to secure a venue, which might resemble an old high school graduation in a football stadium.

“We are pursuing both of those options right now as we kind of wait and see how this unfolds as we move into May and into June,” Adkins said of COVID-19. “Staff are continuing to watch that and we will continue to keep you posted on our high school graduation.”

School campuses, meanwhile, remain closed.

Distance learning for all grades continues.