Monday, May 18, 2020
We all expected graduation to look different this year with the pandemic in place, and now we're getting an idea of how some districts are handling it.
The main gist of it? Face masks and individual lawn chairs will be required, and a limit on attendance looks like it'll become standard.
While the cap and gown may be the same, this year's graduation ceremonies across the CSRA will look much different.
Columbia County is moving its ceremonies to the Lady Antebellum Pavilion
"We felt that would be a good size to be able to keep people properly distanced and at the same time, to allow enough family members to where most families could be accommodated," said Dr. Sandra Carraway, Columbia County superintendent.
The pavilion is a big outdoor space, but they won't be filling the 12,000 person capacity.
"We will be issuing tickets, four tickets, for each senior so they can bring four family members or friends to watch them during this celebration time," Carraway explained.
Graduates are allowed to swap tickets with one another in case a family doesn't need all four or perhaps another student needs a few extra. The goal is to keep Lady A at about 20 percent capacity.
By comparison, Aiken County is also having outdoor graduations. Those will be at the individual schools and graduates are limited to two tickets total, a move Columbia County didn't want to make.
"To have our large classes graduate at their stadiums, we would almost have to have it limited to one, maybe two, and so Lady Antebellum Pavilion, that arena is a perfect location," Carraway said.
Richmond County is still finalizing their graduation plans at James Brown Arena. If Richmond County and JBA follow Columbia County's 20 percent capacity lead, about 1600 people would be allowed to attend the ceremonies.
Main points to keep in mind as graduation season gets closer:
• Face masks are mainly required for all ceremonies.
• All are encouraged to maintain social distance.
• The largest graduating class is 475.
• For some schools, there will also be a broadcast for the commencement.
• Some are advised to bring individual chairs.
Information for counties and schools that have sent News 12 graduation information is below:
Information for Aiken County
Information for Burke County
Information for Columbia County
Information for Edgefield County
Information for Richmond County
Information for Williston-Elko High School
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