Graduation

The coronavirus has created uncertainty in terms of when high school graduation ceremonies will take place.

But one thing is certain. The seniors will be given the opportunity to take part in graduation ceremonies, officials said.

New Albany’s graduation is currently set for the original date of May 22, but that is subject to change if the coronavirus is still presenting problems, said Superintendent Dr. Lance Evans.

“We’re committed to having a traditional graduation ceremony for our students,” said Evans. “I think we just have to assess the situation as we continue to move through this process. It’s a tough time.”

Depending on what happens with the coronavirus, graduation may not be held until June or July, Evans said.

Evans noted that graduating from high school is an important part of life and should be celebrated in a formal way. Graduation represents a big moment of independence, and “people need that closure in their life,” he added.

There are about 150 seniors set to graduate from New Albany High School this year.

Things have been going well with school despite the coronavirus, Evans said, adding that the teachers have been going “above and beyond.”

“It’s humbling to see how great of a job they’re doing,” Evans said.

It also remains unknown whether Union County School District seniors will graduate at the scheduled time in May.

Seniors in the Union County School District were scheduled to take part in their graduation ceremonies May 21 and 22.

But due to the coronavirus, it is uncertain if those dates for graduation will be a reality.

If graduations cannot be held then, they will be held at some date in the future even if it has to be in July, said Union County School District Superintendent Ken Basil.

“We’re going to have something at some point,” Basil said. “We just don’t know right now. We’re going to have a ceremony for them.”

The school district sent a letter to seniors this week, and it states, “We will make graduation a priority when things get back to normal.”

Gov. Tate Reeves last month closed public schools around the state until April 17 because of the coronavirus. It is unclear if the school closure period will be extended.

“We’re going to do whatever the governor tells us to do, whatever MDE tells us to do,” Basil said.

Basil estimates there will be about 200 seniors graduating this year in the Union County School District.

Myrtle and Ingomar are scheduled to have their graduation ceremonies on May 21, and East and West Union graduations are scheduled for May 22.

If schools reopen by April 20, those graduation dates may still go forward, Basil noted.

“While there are still a lot of unknowns, we can assure you that we will do everything in our power to ensure you have an opportunity to walk across the stage to receive your diploma,” the school district’s letter to the seniors states.

The letter adds that this is supposed to be the seniors’ “best year ever.”

“It isn’t fair especially to you as the senior class,” the letter states. “This is supposed to be your year.”

The letter closes by telling the seniors to “complete your studies, stay healthy, and pray for country.”

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