Cairo High School seniors and their families are likely pleased with news they learned this week that the Class of 2020 will have a somewhat traditional graduation ceremony after all. The graduation is now scheduled for the morning of Saturday, June 13, in West Thomas Stadium, and each senior will be able to invite a maximum of four guests.
Chris Lokey, principal of C.H.S., says he is looking forward to honoring the accomplishments of these seniors.
“We know that COVID-19 has taken so many things away from them during the last part of their senior year. We feel that we can have a graduation to honor our students as we follow the C.D.C. guidelines, so that they can share in this special moment with their families,” says Mr. Lokey.
In light of the pandemic, the high school had at first planned a virtual graduation for this Friday evening, the original date of the ceremony, pre-pandemic.
Superintendent of Grady County Schools, Dr. Kermit Gilliard, says he is hoping that Gov. Brian Kemp and state health officials will loosen restrictions on acceptable crowd size by June 13.
“It was never our intent to only hold a virtual graduation. After discussions, it seemed awkward to hold two ceremonies,” says Dr. Gilliard.
Should restrictions remain unchanged, there will be strict guidelines for the ceremony that may include the wearing of face masks, practicing social distancing and using hand sanitizer.
The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m., and seniors will participate in a graduation practice in the stadium on Friday, June 12, at 8 a.m.
In an announcement made via an automatic telephone call and email to students and parents, Lokey reminded seniors to maintain six feet apart during the rehearsal.
Mr. Lokey said that should C.D.C. guidelines change, there could be updates to the graduation plans.
For those unable to attend in person, the ceremony will be streamed live on several virtual locations, according to the principal.