Roundup: School district graduation plans and more

Johnson City Press • May 22, 2020 at 8:04 AM

School districts across the region rescheduled and restructured events to honor this year’s graduates to make up for the ceremonies canceled or postponed to avoid the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The following is a roundup of where graduation ceremony plans stand as of Thursday.

Johnson City Schools

Science Hill High School will honor graduates with a senior recognition video and a traditional ceremony in either June or July. Science Hill has made plans to host a set of live graduation ceremonies on June 19-20 inside the Freedom Hall Civic Center or Kermit Tipton Stadium. The school will reschedule its ceremonies for July 24 and 25 if the June dates are postponed. 

The senior recognition video will be streamed on Saturday, May 30 at 10 a.m. on Johnson City Schools’ website, social media channels and the JCTV Station on channel 192 (Charter) and channel 17 (Comcast). The video will be made available to students and families as a keepsake.

Washington County Schools

The Washington County Board of Education recently set June 19-20 or July 24-25 as tentative dates for ceremonies to be held in the football stadiums at David Crockett and Daniel Boone high schools at 9 a.m. Virtual graduation ceremonies will still be held at the schools, which will abide by social distancing guidelines and limit students to groups under 10 inside the gymnasiums. Students will be presented with a DVD of the ceremonies, and both high schools will hold parades to honor graduating seniors.

The district will also post a Honors and Top 10% slideshow to its website. The district said it was “almost finished” as of Thursday.

Carter County Schools

The Carter County school system is planning four graduations on four different nights at the State Line Drive-In.

“In order to ensure all graduating seniors may have a timely commencement ceremony that not only follows safety and social distancing guidelines but allows for as much traditional activity as possible, Carter County Schools has partnered with State Line Drive-In to hold graduation activities,” the district said on Facebook. 

The dates for the graduations are as follows: May 26 for Unaka High School, May 28 for Hampton High School, June 2 for Cloudland High School and June 4 for Happy Valley High School. Each graduation will begin at 8 p.m.

At the end, there will be a showing of a senior video made for each school. Plans are to stream the ceremonies, with individuals receiving their diplomas and head shots of those giving speeches. 

Unicoi County Schools

Unicoi County High School will plan a graduation ceremony set for July 25, with specific details pending. Unicoi County Schools Director John English told the Press the late July date will allow the school district time to see how the pandemic plays out over the next two months. The school system will provide more information about the graduation plans in June.

Johnson County Schools

Johnson County Schools recently announced the district’s plans to host a drive-in graduation ceremony at Chamber Park for the Class of 2020 on Saturday, May 23.

Students will be allowed to bring two cars of guests in accordance with social distancing guidelines. The district has planned a makeup day on May 30 in the case of rainy weather. 

“Cars will be spread out across Chamber Park with a good view of the stage and will be able to receive audio through their vehicle via an FM radio. For those unable to attend and for our seniors, we will be recording as well as providing a photographer to capture this special moment. Students and their families will be able to access the recording and their photos at no charge to them once all the media has been processed,” the district recently announced on Facebook. 

Elizabethton City Schools

Elizabethton High School held a “senior walk-through” during the first week of May, allowing seniors to visit the school individually with their families for photography sessions with awards and regalia. On Saturday, students and their families will be invited to the school’s parking lot at 7 p.m. to receive their diplomas before proceeding to the State Line Drive-In Theater to watch a graduation video celebrating the Class of 2020. 

For further updates on each district’s ceremony schedules and plans, visit their websites or follow them on social media.

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