Owensboro Public Schools has announced revised graduation plans for its three high schools.
Owensboro High School’s graduation will take place 8 p.m. July 24 at Rash Stadium. Rain dates, because this is an outside event, are scheduled for July 25-26.
Owensboro Innovation Academy’s graduation will take place 2 p.m. at the RiverPark Center, and Emerson Academy’s graduation is scheduled for 6 p.m. Aug. 6, however the location has not yet been finalized.
Since district officials learned they could not have traditional graduation in May when originally scheduled, OPS Superintendent Matthew Constant said the goal has always been to wait until restrictions were lifted and they could hold an in-person ceremony.
“What we have been able to work out with the guidance of our Green River District Health Department and the governor’s plan is a modified in-person graduation plan for all of our schools,” Constant said. “When I say modified, I really mean we are having in-person, but it won’t be as long as the traditional graduation ceremony, and we will limit the number of people allowed to be at the venues.”
He said the formal processes will still be there to provide students “this much-needed and well-deserved step.”
Jared Revlett, OPS spokesman, said it was important to school officials to hold out for an in-person ceremony because graduations are often “the crowning achievement” of students’ lives.
“We wanted to make sure they got as much of a real graduation experience as possible,” Revlett said. “If we were to do it back in May, that wouldn’t have been an option.”
This modified ceremony will allow students to stand with their classmates in celebration, to have loved ones present, and to hear the speeches from their classmates, Revlett said.
Constant said the district is still in the process of making decisions about how many family members will be allowed to attend per graduate.
Specifically for OHS, the district’s largest graduating class, an electronic RSVP form will be sent out for graduates to fill out in the coming week, in which they are asked if they plan to attend and who they want to bring with them. Once those graduates and their family members show up at graduation, Constant said, there will be “a whole host of safety processes that will be involved.”
Some of those safety precautions include temperature checks, attendees being escorted to their seats, and social distancing measures, he said.
“We are following all the safety protocols,” Constant said. “It will be a different experience coming to this in-person graduation for OHS.”
Bobbie Hayse, email@example.com, 270-691-7315