Cullman County Schools sets in-person graduation dates

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CULLMAN, Ala. – Cullman County Schools has set graduation dates for all its 2020 seniors. Superintendent Dr. Shane Barnette said high school graduation ceremonies will take place Saturday, May 23 at 6 p.m. at each high school’s football stadium. The Cullman County Child Development Center’s ceremony will be Friday, May 22 at 1 p.m. in the CDC gymnasium.

“We are tickled to death,” said an obviously happy Barnette. “We’re going to get to have it back at our local schools on the football fields so that we can have social distancing. We’re putting plans in place so that we can have everybody space out. I’m so excited for our seniors!”

Having separate ceremonies at each school instead of having all of them at Wallace State Community College in Tom Drake Coliseum was a choice the school system made in order to make it easier for themselves as well as families.

“We just felt like if we had it at Wallace right now, we’d have to come in and clean between every graduation,” said Barnette. “I don’t know how we would climb up in the stands and make sure everyone was 6 feet apart.”

Barnette reminds families that restrictions will be in place at the ceremonies.

“Every household, so like a household can sit close together, but the next household has to sit 6 feet apart. That’s what we need everyone to understand,” he said.

“Our principals are going to be getting out details. There will be a lot of things we’re going to have to plan for between now and then,” he continued, “like keeping people, the way they enter and the way exit, we can’t have everybody flooding the football fields and hugging each other afterwards.”

Said Barnette, “By people coming to the graduations, they’re going to be accepting these restrictions. But at least we are going to get to do a graduation for them.”

As far as baccalaureate services, Barnette said some schools are planning them, and he’s leaving that up to the individual schools.

“With Governor Ivey loosening restrictions, if they want to host one of those at a church or something, they can do that,” he said. “They’ve just got to remember the social distancing and the entering and exiting and that kind of stuff.”

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Wendy Sack

wendy@cullmantribune.com