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Local high schools trying to figure out graduation plans

Posted at 7:57 PM, May 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-01 19:57:56-04

LANSING, Mich. — The coronavirus pandemic has ruined senior year for thousands of high school students here in mid-Michigan. Now, schools are trying to at least salvage graduation for them.

Districts say by postponing commencement ceremonies, for now, it's giving seniors and families a chance to prepare.

"The commencement date for the seniors at the high school was May 29th and the parents have been told that that's still on, but it's subject to change," Bill DeFrance, Eaton Rapids school district superintendent said.

Eaton Rapids superintendent Bill DeFrance knows he may have to postpone commencement but he's holding out hope the ceremony can go on as planned. Schools all over mid-Michigan are dealing with the same uncertainty.

"The table's still wide open. I have a meeting with senior student government leaders and senior leaders along with their class advisers just to touch base again on where we're at." Matt Dodson, Bath High School Principal said.

"We don't know if things will happen at all so we've basically tried to plan and re-plan and plan again with the understanding that things may change," Timothy Allen, TA Wilson Academy Principal also said.

Bath high school and Jackson's TA Wilson Academy have rescheduled graduation for august, but they're also making backup plans.

"If they don't work we have plans for the plans that don't work and we just really want to communicate to our kids that they are important and we want to honor them in the best way that we can," Dodson said.

As a last resort, many districts are preparing to hold commencement online.

"We haven't worked out all the details yet, but if we can't have some sort of physical setting than we'll figure out some way to recognize everybody virtually," DeFrance said.

Some districts are planning to do a virtual meeting first, in case they aren't able to make it to a physical commencement.

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