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JCPS schools hold in-person, outdoor ceremonies for graduating seniors, 2020 alumni

It will be first time in more than a year many JCPS seniors see their entire graduating class
Published: May. 27, 2021 at 10:30 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - More than 6,000 seniors in Jefferson County Public Schools will graduate at in-person ceremonies for the first time since 2019.

In 2020, JCPS graduation ceremonies were virtual amid the pandemic. This year, all students can receive their diplomas in person, at ceremonies held outdoors at high school stadiums on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

It will be the first time in more than a year many JCPS seniors see their entire graduating class all at once. The district began the school year completely virtual amid the pandemic, then shifted to a hybrid schedule in April.

At Male High School, nearly 500 students are set to revive a diploma Friday.

“So really they [seniors] lost two years of big, monumental life events that are very important to high school students,” principal Willie Foster said. “As recent as a couple months ago there was a lot of uncertainty, when we got to the point that we could do outdoor graduations it was huge, it was huge to be able to share that.”

Isabel Johnson, a Male senior, told WAVE 3 she was excited to celebrate with friends.

“We’ve just been through so much this school year, we’re really looking forward to it,” she said. “I’m glad we pushed through and made it through all of this.”

A number of JCPS schools will also hold ceremonies this week to recognize 2020 graduates, who didn’t see the pomp and circumstance of a traditional graduation ceremony.

Tate Luckey, a Male graduate and the senior class president, said it would be a bittersweet experience revisiting his alma mater.

“I appreciate the superintendent organizing this whole thing ... but I’ve kind of moved on at this point. I think it will be nice, though, to go back and hopefully see a few teachers and a few peers and kind of reconnect,” he said.

Different JCPS schools will have different COVID precautions in place for graduation events.

At Male, students and guests will be socially distanced and tickets were limited. Foster said masks won’t be required for Thursday’s ceremony as there will be less than 1,000 people, however, masks will be required for Friday’s larger event.

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