Plans are currently underway for graduation ceremonies to be held at the end of the month.

Monroe County Schools Director Dr. DeAnna McClendon stated the graduation ceremonies are expected to take place on the football fields of each high school.

“We will practice social distancing and keep the chairs six feet apart and families and graduates will be asked to wear a mask,” said McClendon. “The students will be asked to wear a mask until they are in position, then they will get a chance to walk across the stage.”

They hope to keep the ceremony as short as possible to limit the amount of exposure people have to others, however the schools have yet to decide on an official start time for the ceremonies.

Family members of graduates will also be encouraged to practice social distancing.

“The parents will be on the bleachers and we have a capacity for each of those bleachers so families will sit together, but they will have to sit six feet away from another family,” she said. “We are still working out plans with principals to decide where to put other people once we reach capacity on the bleachers.”

She noted the schools are currently trying to predict the amount of guests who will attend by calculating the number of graduating students from each school.

“We need to know the number of students who are actually going to participate,” McClendon stated. “Then we can determine how many family members will be attending.”

Tickets may also not be available for some of the schools depending on the amount of students who are graduating.

“Whether or not a school will distribute tickets for graduation will really be determined by the amount of graduates they have,” McClendon stated. “If there are a small number of graduates then tickets won’t be necessary since this will be determined by our capacity.”

Hand sanitizer will also be available in portable stations during the ceremony.

Sweetwater High School’s graduation has been scheduled to take place on Thursday, July 30.

Sequoyah High School’s graduation will be on Friday, July 31, and Tellico Plains High School’s graduation is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 1.

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