“We were delighted to find out we could do this sooner rather than later,” Bibb County Superintendent Duane McGee said of the upcoming graduation ceremonies, “We expected to have to wait until late June or sometime in July.”
Thanks to Governor Ivey loosening restrictions with an amendment to the Safer-at-Home order, which included allowing schools to conduct in-person functions starting June 1, Bibb County and West Blocton High Schools will both have actual graduation ceremonies. “Before the loosened restrictions, we had considered some type of drive-through or walk-through ceremony, just to be able to do something for the students,” McGee said.
The rules were “loosened,” and not lifted, however. Which means there will still be COVID-19 related restrictions in place at both school ceremonies. After Principals at both high schools discussed what would be functional and fair, they agreed that having a 500 guest limit for each school would allow for social distancing between families. With about 125 graduating seniors at Bibb, and about 84 at West Blocton, this means Bibb seniors have 4 tickets each to give out, and West Blocton has 6 each. Families will be allowed to sit together, with six-foot spacing (a few seats) between each family group. Masks are optional for graduating students and their guests.
Graduations will be outdoor at each school’s stadium only, with no indoor option. So, if there is impeding weather, Saturday the 6th will be the makeup day. The schedule is for 7:00 p.m. Thursday, June 4th for Bibb County High, and 7:00 p.m. Friday, June 5th for West Blocton High.
As in recent years, graduation will be live-streamed on each school’s Facebook page. Unlike recent years, there will be no guest speakers from the military or colleges presenting scholarships and awards. However, these awards will be announced at the beginning of the graduation ceremonies.
Graduation may be a little different this year, and it will be difficult for some students to decide who gets their limited tickets. But, anyone who has been to a university graduation lately knows that process. “We know some people will be disappointed to not be able to attend,” McGee added, “but we are glad to be able to have a ceremony and do this for our kids at all. For a while we were not sure it would happen.”
To watch the live-streams: