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Schools consider options for graduations

By SABRINA ROBERTSON & PATRICK MURPHY

NATCHEZ — Graduation season is upon us, but we are living through unprecedented times.

Therefore, Miss-Lou high schools are considering their options for 2020 graduations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Below is what Miss-Lou high schools’ representatives said they are planning for graduation celebrations.

 

Natchez-Adams School District

Natchez Adams School District’s plans are still up in the air, said Superintendent Fred Butcher.

The school board will meet at a later date to discuss graduation options for seniors at Natchez Early College Academy and Natchez High School, Butcher said, adding that graduating students’ have expressed their desire to hold a traditional graduation ceremony at a later date.

“They want to hold out for a traditional gradation sometime in the month of June with the hopes that perhaps things will be close to normal at that time or at least fewer restrictions would be in place,” Butcher said of the students’ wishes presented by student officers in the Student Government Associations at Natchez Early College Academy and Natchez High School.

“There are some students that if they don’t participate in a high school graduation now then they won’t graduate anymore,” Butcher said. “… Some will go off to college and graduate any number of times but not everyone. They’ve made it this far in life and everyone wants to celebrate that accomplishment — and it is a great accomplishment having finished the last 12 or 14 years in school.”

Butcher said, pending school board approval, a traditional graduation could possibly be held in the third week of June.

Adams County Christian School

ACCS graduation ceremony is currently scheduled for 5 p.m. July 18 at First Baptist Church, said Cricket Daugherty, ACCS assistant principal.

“As long as the quarantine is lifted,” Daugherty said.

 

Cathedral

Cathedral High School will not have a commencement ceremony for May.

“The Diocese (of Jackson) is still investigating our options,” said Norm Yvon, Cathedral High School principal. “We are considering our options and having a traditional commencement ceremony later in the year is one of the options on the table.

“The latest we would do a traditional ceremony is before the start of the next school year when our graduates leave for college. Obviously we can’t be calling them back after that.”

 

Concordia Parish School District

Whest Shirley, superintendent at Concordia Parish School District, said he is still planning to have a traditional graduation ceremony for the district schools.

The district schools are Concordia Parish Academy, Ferriday High School, Monterey and Vidalia.

“If we’re still under some type of restriction by the end of May or first of June, we’ll move on to Plan B, which is a virtual graduation of some sort,” Shirley said. “We’ll probably have groups or families come together at certain times, film them separately and then post them all in a video together.”

 

Delta Charter School

An in-person graduation is tentatively set for June 26 for Delta Charter School.

Jimmy Comeaux, principal at Delta Charter School, said there is still going to be an in-person graduation.

“That’s what we’re hoping for but it’s still up in the air at this point,” Comeaux said. “Depending on orders from the president and the governor, that could move to July.”