HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) —Hundreds of seniors in Hillsborough County will be taking the stage to accept their diploma during the first in-person graduation ceremonies since 2019.
Hillsborough County has 14,000 students attending graduation ceremonies this year.
The in-person ceremonies are welcome news for seniors who’ve had a year like none other.
Due to the pandemic, students can only bring up to four people to watch them graduate. The four guests will sit in pods 3 to 6 feet apart to allow for social distancing.
Guests will be given instructions on how to enter each ceremony. Masks are required and there wil be plenty of hand sanitizer available.
The school district said there will be four hours between each ceremony to allow for cleaning and disinfecting.
“The class of 2021, congratulations to each of you. What a special time. We know you need this special time. You’ve been through so much with your teachers, with your support staff, with your families, with our community, with our nation. This is just a time to really celebrate all the great things that you’ve done,” said Superintendent Addison Davis with Hillsborough County Schools.
Now the district is expanding summer school to include kindergarten through 5th grade to help students who may have fallen behind during the pandemic.
“To make sure that the students who may need us the most as well can have continued accessibility to grade level standards that will help them build that foundations to transition from one grade level to the next,” Davis said.
The first graduation ceremony starts at 4 p.m.Tuesday with Plant High School seniors and their families.