Jefferson County Schools holding in-person graduation ceremonies in August

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. — After previously announcing a 2021 graduation date for the class of 2020, Jefferson County Schools will hold in-person ceremonies later this summer.

Graduations for Washington and Jefferson High Schools will be held Saturday, August 1st. The decision was made during the Jefferson County Board of Education’s July 6 meeting.

This comes after a previous announcement that graduation ceremonies would be held in May 2021. According to the new plan, each senior will be limited to three tickets.

“The plan is to basically mark off the football field in grids,” Jefferson County Schools Public Information Officer Hans Fogle said. “With up to three family members or friends, (graduates) will basically be in their pod. They will be called up and have a chance to walk across the stage. There will be a photo op after that where they can remove their mask and get that picture that I think is one of those milestones that people like to have.”

Fogle said Wednesday on Panhandle Live, heard on MetroNews affiliates WEPM & WCST, safety and cleanliness will be the top priority.

“10 am will be Washington High School on the football field at Washington High. We’ll have a period of deep cleaning and disinfecting of all high touch surfaces and all of the areas where people might be present. Then at 3 o’clock, we’ll come back on the field at Washington High and have a ceremony for Jefferson High School”

The football field at Jefferson High School is being refurbished and will be unavailable in August. Fogle said school system officials have been impressed with the class of 2020’s ability to adapt to the changing circumstances.

“They’ve gotten to be sort of the authors of their own story,” Fogle said. “I think that’s so fitting for this generation that embraces new things and adapts so well. So we’re glad we can do something meaningful for them and we look forward to welcoming them back to take the walk into the next stage of life.”

More information, including how to get tickets, will be available soon.

Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Dr. Bondy Shay Gibson is expected to release official re-entry plans next week. The school system previously announced all students will have the option of virtual learning this fall.