Posted by Brent Murphy on 5/7/2020
As a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Mercer County Schools realizes that the traditional graduation ceremony must be altered for the Class of 2020. Mercer County Schools believes that it is important to develop a plan that allows all students to be present for graduation and be recognized in a formal, traditional setting, i.e. having their name read, walking across the stage, and being presented their diploma. A ceremony conducted within the next few weeks allows students that may be moving on to military enlistment and relocation for jobs or college to participate. We also recognize our responsibility to accomplish this while taking steps to ensure the safety and well-being of our graduates, their guests, and school personnel.
In order to accomplish this, while adhering to the Governor’s Executive Order and the Health Department regulations, we have developed the previously announced plan. While we understand that it may not be the choice of some of our students and parents, this plan does allow for a ceremony to occur. Other plans that may include later dates and larger gatherings would be stipulated based on the current guidance at that time. We strongly feel that we would be remiss if we scheduled that type of event and then would not be able to conduct the event due to the regulations and restrictions at the time.
As a way of commemorating this event for each student, we will provide a copy of the video compilation and an 8X10 portrait of each graduate in their cap and gown. Graduates will also receive a yard sign to be placed at their home to recognize their accomplishment.
We realize that for many of our students the disruption in the spring of their senior year has been painful and created a feeling of a lack of closure. As a result, we are planning to organize committees at each high school that will work to develop a culminating activity to be held later in the summer to allow students to gather and celebrate with their classmates if we can do so while complying with public health regulations and guidelines in place at that time.