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LCPS plans to hold graduation

The Central High School (CHS) Class of 2021 will get to take part in a graduation ceremony this spring thanks to Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s announcement Wednesday, March 17, that schools may safely hold in-person graduation.

The announcement also extends to colleges and universities’ commencement ceremonies.

Charles Berkley

“We are planning our graduation ceremonies now, but we do not have any specifics to release at this time,” Lunenburg County Public School (LCPS) Superintendent Charles Berkley, Jr. said. “I am expecting that LCPS will hold an outside graduation this year with limited guests per graduate.”

The state recommendations currently allow outdoor graduation ceremonies with attendance capped at 5,000 people or 30% of the venue capacity, whichever figure is less.

Graduation and commencement ceremonies held indoors may have up to 500 people in attendance or 30% of the venue’s capacity, whichever is less.

CHS Senior Macie Nash said the possibility of having an outdoor graduation for the class of 2021 is exciting. She feels her class should be given the opportunity to celebrate together everything they have accomplished and will accomplish in their future endeavors as young adults.

“This event will give the community a chance to celebrate all of the accomplishments and hard work that the class has contributed to Central High School,” Nash said. “In a year like 2021, a graduation ceremony is something that would give hope to seniors, current students and the community as a whole that things are starting to turn towards normalcy. In a way, the possibility of this event has given students motivation to finish their school year on a positive note.”

Graduation ceremonies this spring will require attendees to wear face masks and follow other safety guidelines to ensure proper social distancing.

“I appreciate the work that our schools, students and teachers have put in to get back into the classroom safely and the efforts of public health officials and education leaders in developing guidelines for safe graduations and commencements this spring,” Northam said. “We are releasing this guidance early to allow schools to begin planning for this year’s events. While graduation and commencement ceremonies will still be different than they were in the past, this is a tremendous step forward for all of our schools, our graduates and their families.”