Why one district is holding two-part graduation ceremonies

'If we had one big event, very few people could attend,'
By: | March 18, 2021
Students sat socially distanced and wore masks at Hardin County Schools in Kentucky this year.Students sat socially distanced and wore masks at Hardin County Schools in Kentucky this year.

Safety precautions and a desire to include families led administrators in Kentucky’s Hardin County schools to hold two-part graduation ceremonies.

First, seniors, wearing caps and gowns, will gather for socially-distanced assemblies with during a school day later this spring. Only the students and administrator can attend these events, which will be live-streamed, Superintendent Teresa Morgan says.

Class officers, principals and Superintendent Teresa Morgan will make speeches that will be live-streamed on YouTube.

In the second part, seniors will get receive appointed times to bring no more than 10 families members to watch them walk across their high school’s graduation stage.


More from DA: How Florida districts plan to hold in-person graduations


“If we had one big event, very few people could attend,” Morgan says. “We know this an important chapter in these students’ lives and we want to make sure that those who love these students the most have the opportunity to be present.

“We also wanted the students to celebrate with one another and to see the literal pomp and circumstance of graduation.”

Last year, Hardin County seniors could only invite six family members to watch them walk across the stage.

“We know that this is not ideal and last year’s graduation certainly wasn’t either,” Morgan says. “We are in a different place than we were a year ago and we’re still not where we want to be. But, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.”

In Arkansas, Siloam Springs High School is also planning two in-person ceremonies, but students will be divided into two groups by alphabetical order. One will be for first students who last names begin with A through I, and the second, for J through Z.

Each students will get six tickets for family members and guests.