Atlanta high schools postpone graduation ceremonies, again

Atlanta Public Schools has once again delayed in-person graduation ceremonies because of the coronavirus. AJC FILE
Atlanta Public Schools has once again delayed in-person graduation ceremonies because of the coronavirus. AJC FILE

The coronavirus pandemic has prompted Atlanta high schools to postpone graduation ceremonies for the class of 2020, again.

Atlanta Public Schools had planned to hold about a dozen outdoor ceremonies the week of July 20, after the coronavirus caused the district to delay graduations typically held in May.

But APS announced last week it would postpone the July ceremonies, citing a substantial increase in the last few weeks of COVID-19 cases.

Back in May, APS held online-only celebrations for graduates. The district had aimed to hold in-person ceremonies at a football stadium to allow for social distancing and announced July dates for the events. But last week, the district said it would have to delay that plan as well.

“In an abundance of caution, APS administrators decided against bringing graduates, their families, and district employees together for large, in-person events at this time. However, the district is committed to rescheduling graduations for a later date when the community health picture improves,” said a statement released by APS.

Also last week, APS released its plan to start the school year with virtual instruction instead of reopening school buildings for traditional face-to-face teaching and learning. Atlanta students will attend online classes for at least the first nine weeks of the school year.

The school board also will meet Monday to consider pushing back the first day of school from Aug. 10 to Aug. 24 to give teachers, staff and families more time to prepare.