Planning safe graduation ceremonies for the class of 2020
With the COVID-19 outbreak putting an abrupt end to the school year, members of the 2020 class are learning how they will close the chapter of high school.
“High school graduation, in my opinion and the opinion of other folks, is the culmination of a lot of hard work over several years for the students. We want to honor this achievement.”
However, for high school seniors along the Coast, honoring that achievement will come in many different forms. “After Tate Reeves put forth the shelter in place, our school board kept in constant contact with us throughout the whole process and once it became apparent that a traditional graduation might harm students, they took action and decided to go with a really great alternative.”
The Ocean Springs virtual graduation ceremony, meant to be a safe alternative, also sparked a petition with the goal of 1,500 signatures to ‘save Ocean Springs graduation.’ “I do believe that the petition was put forth to not necessarily rebel against the school board decision but to show that the class of 2020 would be interested in a traditional graduation somewhere along the way. Sometime in the fall or just anywhere in the future.”
Other school districts are looking to hold a more traditional ceremony with safety as the main goal, including the Jackson County School District which plans to hold six graduation ceremonies to allow for safe social distancing measures. The Biloxi Public Schools as well as St. Patrick Catholic School are looking to take similar measures. “Approximately nine graduation sessions over a three day period graduating approximately 40 students per session. And we have a very large beautiful arena that we will be able to do this. So, we are very fortunate”
“Our graduation mass for the St. Patrick 2020 class will be held Friday May 15th at 5:00 at the Nativity Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary.” For those ceremonies, guests will be limited according to the safety and health guidelines provided by the CDC.