Polk County Public Schools’ 2021 graduations will once again feature important safety measures to reduce to spread of coronavirus, including limiting capacity.
“We are truly looking forward to celebrating our graduating seniors and all of their hard work,” said Tami Dawson, regional assistant superintendent for high schools. “This has been another unusual and challenging year, but we want to do our best to preserve important rites of passage like graduation ceremonies. While honoring our students, we must also stay vigilant in keeping up the fight against COVID-19.”
Most traditional high schools will hold their graduation ceremonies at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland. Ceremonies taking place at the RP Funding Center will be livestreamed on the school district’s YouTube channel. The seating area will be disinfected between ceremonies.
Three high schools are planning to host their ceremonies at their home stadiums: Auburndale High, Fort Meade Middle-Senior and Frostproof Middle-Senior.
The following health precautions will be taken during all graduations to ensure the safety of graduates, their guests and school district staff:
• Graduates will receive four tickets each for family members or guests. Limiting the number of guests and assigning seats will help ensure social distancing.
• There will be assigned check-in times to prevent crowds forming to get into the graduation venues.
• Temperature screenings and security checks will be conducted as individuals enter.
• Everyone will be required to wear face coverings, including graduates.
• Graduates will be socially distanced during the ceremony.
• There will be no handshakes.
• Ceremonies will be condensed to approximately one hour to limit exposure.
• Graduates, guests and staff members are being reminded that graduation ceremonies are not mandatory. Anyone who does not feel safe should not attend.