LOUISVILLE, Ky. — It's another small step toward "normal" for students, parents, and teachers of Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS). On Tuesday night, the Board of Education gave the green light to the district's plans to hold graduation ceremonies in person. Ceremonies will begin after the final day of class, starting May 27.
What You Need To Know
- JCPS Board approves plan for in-person graduation ceremonies
- Ceremonies will begin after the final day of class, starting May 27
- Capacity will be limited at the graduations, face masks will be worn, people will be socially-distanced, and commencements will all take place at outdoor facilities
- Students react to the new plan
The school district laid out its plan for board members, explaining key points Tuesday. Those include: the capacity will be limited at the graduations, face masks will be worn, people will be socially-distanced, and commencements will all take place at outdoor facilities like at football stadiums. Schools will be able to hold multiple ceremonies, so they can limit the number of people at each.
Commencement is a big deal to Ballard High School senior class president Aiden Jones.
"That is one of those activities that is monumental in your life, and so I think that it's gonna be really cool to have it at Ballard. Honestly, I'm gonna love it," Jones said Tuesday. That is, she prefers the change to allow each school to host its own ceremonies.
Jones has been giving tours of her high school for incoming freshmen. It's a strange feeling to go back to school in person so late in the year, with graduation in just weeks. It's caused students like Jones to take nothing for granted.
"We haven't even had our 'hellos' this year," Jones remarked. "So it's been really difficult."
Meanwhile, some parents are also pleased to be able to hold special graduation events for students. PTA member Bobbi Jo Kingery hopes even more kids from the previous year can be included like, "our elementary, our kindergartners, middle school, graduating eighth graders," she said.
"I feel like they should all have that opportunity as well," she added, explaining her own high school freshman daughter didn't get the experience she deserved when graduating eighth grade in 2020.
The district is leaving it up to individual schools to decide how to include last year's graduates.
"Each school will decide how to include the class of 2020 in their celebration, giving them the opportunity to walk across the stage," Chief of Schools Robert Moore told board members.
Jones says she's part of a team of students working with Ballard administrators to plan their events.
"I think it's gonna be that closure that we all need, and kind of that last goodbye," she's relieved to say.