Clayton County to hold stadium graduations in COVID-19 safety bid

Clayton County Schools will hold graduation ceremonies at three district stadiums.
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Clayton County Schools will hold graduation ceremonies at three district stadiums.

Clayton County will hold graduation ceremonies for the district’s 11 high schools at Southern Crescent, Tara and Twelve Oaks stadiums on May 26 and 27, the school system said Thursday.

The ceremonies will start either at 8:30 a.m. or 8:30 p.m. to avoid the heat of the day, the school system said. And attendees will be required to submit to a temperature check before entering the stadiums and masks will be encouraged.

The school system said it chose the stadiums because of COVID-19 concerns, but did not elaborate.

Clayton’s decision comes just a few days after neighboring Henry lowered some of its COVID-19 restrictions, allow those attending the district’s upcoming graduation ceremonies to go without a mask when outdoors if they want. Clayton’s ceremonies also will be streamed live on the district’s webpage.

Students at Charles Drew, Forest Park, Jonesboro, Lovejoy, Morrow, Mt. Zion, Mundy’s Mill, North Clayton and Riverdale high schools will receive eight tickets for family and friends while pupils of the Elite Scholars Academy and M.E. Stilwell School of the Arts will receive 12. The district said Elite Scholars and M.E. Stilwell will receive more tickets because of the anticipated size of their crowds.

“The difference in ticket numbers is due to the potential size of the graduating classes, anticipated numbers of family members and guests who may want to attend, and the seating capacities of each stadium being used,” the district said in a release.

Charles Drew High School will graduate from 8:30 a.m.-10 a.m. May 26 at Southern Crescent Stadium. Lovejoy and Stillwell Arts will also hold graduations at that time, but at Tara and Twelve Oaks respectively.

North Clayton High School seniors will graduate from 8:30 p.m.-10 p.m. May 26 at Southern Crescent Stadium. Munday’s Mill High will also graduate from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. May 26 at Tara stadium.

On May 27, Riverdale, Forest Park and Elite Scholars Academy will hold graduation ceremonies from 8:30 a.m.-10 a.m. at Southern Crescent, Tara and Twelve Oaks respectively. Also on May 27, Morrow, Jonesboro and Mount Zion will hold ceremonies from 8:30 p.m. -10 p.m. simultaneously at Southern Crescent, Tara and Twelve Oaks respectively.

If case of rain, the events will take place Friday, May 27, or Saturday May 28-29.