As a result of Governor DeSantis’ announcement today that youth activities can move forward in Florida without restrictions, Lake County Schools is changing plans for its high school graduation ceremonies.
Last week, the district announced plans for ceremonies that would have kept spectators in their cars while graduates walked across a stage in their caps and gowns to receive diplomas and awards and have their photos taken. The idea was crafted in alignment with safety guidelines that recommended social distancing and advised against large gatherings in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
With today's announcement giving the green light, the district has opted to move forward with traditional graduation ceremonies.
"We have always wanted to give our students a traditional graduation experience, but I had to work within the boundaries of the safety information we were given regarding large group gatherings," Superintendent Diane Kornegay said. "Thanks to the Governor lifting the restrictions, we can now give our students the experience we all want them to have."
Lake County Schools will continue working with the county's health department and other agencies to work out the details. The graduation dates are expected to stay the same, but locations will change to outdoor football stadiums, which may require capacity limits. Schools will work with district leaders to determine stadium capacity and how many guests will be allowed to attend.
The district will maintain its plan to livestream the ceremonies so that physically vulnerable family members can watch from the safety of their homes. Other questions have been raised about hand sanitizer stations, entry and exit protocols, and restroom cleanliness, but the district stated those answers will be provided in the coming weeks.
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