Campbell County Public Schools officials announced Monday they will hold individual high school graduation ceremonies for seniors at the four high schools in the division.
Clay Stanley, assistant superintendent for instruction with Campbell County Public Schools, shared the division’s plan with the school board at its Monday night meeting.
Stanley said division administrators spent time discussing different possibilities for graduation ceremonies, but wanted to ensure students were able to have an experience that captured the moment despite large gatherings and traditional graduation ceremonies being impossible during the coronavirus pandemic.
“As a former high school principal, I know that [graduation season] is the most sacred time of the year and it is the capstone of everything that we do, so we know how important it is for our students,” Stanley said.
In order to abide by social distancing requirements and avoid a large gathering, high school principals will schedule times for seniors to come by the school to walk across the stage to receive their diplomas. Students will be able to bring their parents or guardians. Superintendent Robert Johnson said the division plans to provide photos of graduates receiving diplomas from their principal and with their parents.
Stanley said high school principals will soon begin scheduling graduation ceremonies to occur between May 26 and June 6. Weather pending, Stanley said the division hopes the ceremonies will be held on the schools’ football fields with no more than 10 people on the field at any given time.
For smaller high schools in the division, the distribution process may take two days, Stanley said, and some larger schools could be distributing diplomas for more than two weeks.
“Everybody is committed to making sure our students have that experience,” Stanley said.
Videos of graduation highlights and speeches from principals, valedictorians and salutatorians for each of the high schools will be available and shared later in June, for extended friends and families to experience.
Board member Scott Miller said he appreciates the personalization of the graduation plan.
“It sounds like a well-thought-out compromise,” Miller said.
Seniors and their families will receive more information regarding graduation from each of the individual high schools outlining how the process will work at each school, Stanley said.
The next Campbell County School Board meeting is scheduled for June 8 at 6:30 p.m.
Jamey Cross covers education. Reach her at (434) 385-5532.