The COVID-19 pandemic has left high schools scrambling to create a commencement ceremony that follows social distancing protocols. While some schools have resorted to a virtual or drive-in ceremony, Akron Public Schools has come up with a way for more than 1,000 seniors to graduate in person.
The ceremony will take place over several days, as seniors from the nine high schools meet on their campus in small groups.
Digital learning specialist Marcie Ebright says graduates will then one-by-one go through different stations, which include receiving their diploma from their principal, having professional photos taken, and even getting a sign to place in their yard.
Ebright says students were very active in creating this ceremony.
“We knew that we were going to have to change and sacrifice some things, but we wanted to make sure that students were able to voice what was really important to them.”
The ceremonies will start taking place the last week of May. Ebright says for some of the smaller schools graduating all of the students will occur in one day, but it will take three or four days for the larger high schools.
The nine high schools include:
- Akron Alternative Academy
- Akron Early College
- Buchtel Community Learning Center 9-12
- East Community Learning Center 9-12
- Ellet Community Learning Center 9-12
- Firestone Community Learning Center 9-12
- Kenmore-Garfield High School
- NIHF STEM High School
- North High School