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Message to Seniors About Graduation

5/4/2020

This is Steve Dionisio Superintendent of Charlotte County Schools. 

I am calling with a message for our graduating students and their parents.

This is a long message so please stay with me.

First, please know I realize your senior year has not finished the way you dreamed it would. 

As high school principal for many years, I understand the magnitude of all of the events you have lost due to the crisis we are living. 

I am certain you are anxious to hear the decision about how your graduation ceremony will be celebrated. 

Charlotte County Schools will have a plan A and Plan B for the Graduation Ceremonies. 

Plan A comes with us assuming the CDC and State relax their large group restrictions. If the CDC and State do not relax the large group restrictions Plan B will be used.  

Plan A will be a traditional Live Graduation Ceremony postponed to the week of July 13 – July 18.  Charlotte High School, Lemon Bay High School and Port Charlotte High school will all use their football field as the venue. 

The Academy will use the PCHS football field while Charlotte Harbor Center and Charlotte Virtual School will use Charlotte Performing Arts Center for their venues.

Using all of these facilities will allow us to follow all CDC and State guidelines. 

Official dates and times of all ceremonies will be posted on the school and district websites.

Graduation Ceremonies occurring on the football fields will all be morning ceremonies due to the heat and rain expected in July. 

Unfortunately, All graduates will only receive two tickets for family and friends to attend the ceremony.  We must do this to ensure the ability to follow CDC and State guidelines.  All ceremonies will be streamed live to allow family and friends not able to attend due to these restriction to watch the event live.

Plan B will be a Virtual Graduation Ceremony. 

Each school will create a virtual ceremony over the next month to serve as a backup just in case the CDC and State do not relax their guidelines making a virtual ceremony our only realistic option. 

The virtual format will mimic the traditional format with everything except the graduates walking across the stage.

If CCPS is forced to use the virtual ceremony due to CDC and State guidelines, all schools will make certain to invite the students back during next school year possibly during homecoming week to recognize them in a special way.

If we are able to do live graduation ceremonies the schools will still release the virtual ceremonies created to the students and parents following the live ceremony dates.

So once again, Plan A, which is live graduation ceremonies, comes with us assuming the CDC and State relax their large group restrictions by the week of when those ceremonies are now planned.

If the CDC and State do not relax the large group restrictions by that week, Then Plan B will be used which will be a Virtual Graduation Ceremony.  

 

Note: Charlotte Technical College will host a Virtual Graduation Ceremony on June 12.  Charlotte Technical College will invite back any spring graduate to participate in the regularly scheduled December 2020 Graduation Ceremony if they choose to.

Again, I realize this is not how you expected or wanted your senior year to end and I am truly sorry for that.  I hope we can finish the year with a graduation ceremony that you will remember.

Thank you for you cooperation and understanding.  Be safe.