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FCS to host graduations May 21, 7 p.m.

A week ago so much about graduation was unknown, but seniors in Franklin County Schools officially have a date.

Each of the Franklin County Schools will have a graduation ceremony for seniors May 21 at 7 p.m. on their respective school campuses. The ceremonies will take place on the football field of every school, except Belgreen, which will take place in the auditorium.

“I am pleased to announce each school will be allowed to host their high school commencement ceremony,” said Franklin County Schools Superintendent Greg Hamilton. “This decision is based on the regulations provided by Gov. Ivey and State Superintendent Eric Mackey May 5.”

Each student will be allowed eight tickets for family and friends. No one will be allowed into the graduation ceremony without a ticket.

At the ceremony, social distancing will be in place, with families sitting together and distancing required between each family.

Tharptown Vice Principal Bart Moss said seating will be marked to show where those in attendance are able to sit.

There will be no visitors allowed on the field, and everyone will be asked to leave immediately following the ceremony. Attendees are asked to be in their seats by 6:30 p.m. The gates will be closed before 7 p.m. to ensure the ceremony runs smoothly with no distractions.

“It is going to be really difficult to keep everyone apart since they have not seen each other in so long, but that is what we have to do to ensure social distancing,” Moss said.

Moss said students will be spread apart as well to ensure social distancing, and both sides of football stadiums will be in use.

Students will know after graduation rehearsal which side they will be entering on, and Moss said for a lot of families who have students entering on the visitor’s side and sitting closest to the visitor’s side, sitting there will be the best option.

“We are just glad the students are having the opportunity to have their graduation,” Moss said.

Moss said administrators hope having the graduation ceremony about the same time as originally planned will allow more students to participate than if graduation was held later in the summer.

“Graduation is such a big milestone because it really marks the end of something but also the beginning of something,” Moss said, “whether that is going off to college or beginning work.”