ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Dougherty County School System (DCSS) Superintendent Kenneth Dyer has signaled his intention to hold in-person graduation ceremonies for each of the district’s three high schools in May, according to a release from the school system.
The district canceled in-person graduation last Spring in favor of virtual graduation ceremonies because of Albany’s spike in COVID-19 cases. District leaders believe current COVID-19 case numbers support holding in-person graduation ceremonies, with certain restrictions and safety measures in place, the release states.
“We understand that our seniors have missed out on many of the traditional senior year activities due to COVID-19 safety measures that were put in place to keep our students and employees safe during the height of the pandemic,” Dyer said. “But, with case numbers, positivity rates, and hospitalizations all at their lowest point since the pandemic began, I’m comfortable with us holding graduation ceremonies, so long as proper safeguards are in place.”
In the release, DCSS officials said those safeguards mean the graduation ceremonies will look somewhat different than they have in previous years. Each of the ceremonies will take place inside the Albany Civic Center; but, students will be spread out on the arena floor to allow for social distancing. Also, each student will be allowed a limited number of guests, and masks will be required of all those in attendance.
The graduation ceremonies will be held over a two-day period to avoid congestion and bottlenecking at the Civic Center, and to allow for proper cleaning and disinfecting between each ceremony, the release states.
The graduation schedule is as follows:
- Friday, May 21:
- Monroe Comprehensive High School at 6 p.m.
- Saturday, May 22:
- Dougherty Comprehensive High School at 9 a.m.
- Westover Comprehensive High School at 5 p.m.
“With all the sacrifices this senior class has had to make this year, I’m quite pleased that we are able to provide them the opportunity to experience this important right of passage as they transition from high school,” said Dyer.
Additional information and a list of frequently-asked-questions will be provided to parents and students, according to DCSS.