When surveyed about alternative plans for graduation in April, 2020, the vast majority of members of the Hardin County Schools Class of 2020 desired to have a traditional graduation ceremony if it was possible.
It was not possible at the end of the 2019-20 school year because of the restrictions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, so each HCS high school brought seniors and up to six family members to a stage, had the seniors walk across it in the caps and gowns and receive their diploma. At that time, the district shared that, if possible, traditional graduation ceremonies would be held at each school on October 2 and October 3, 2020 and a second pair of back-up dates were set for November 27 and November 28th for the Class of 2020. Since large group gatherings are still prohibited, HCS has made the decision to push those ceremonies to the next set of scheduled dates – November 27 and November 28, 2020.
“When the seniors responded to the survey they overwhelmingly wanted to have a traditional ceremony,” HCS Superintendent Teresa Morgan said. “It was important for us to offer a non-traditional graduation because we did not know what the future held and that non-traditional graduation ceremony was a great success.” That turned out to be the safest decision. We know that a high number of these seniors are already serving our country in the military, working or attending school in distant places and may encounter obstacles in getting back to Hardin County in October or November. It was critically important the Class of 2020 their families heard their name called, walk across the stage and receive that diploma.
“Also, based on the survey results, the seniors were adamant that their graduation ceremonies be held in the year 2020. If the restrictions aren’t lifted by November, we will not be able to have traditional ceremonies for the Class of 2020. That deeply saddens us, but the health and safety of our students, staff and families are always our main objective.”