The public school districts in Pasco and Hillsborough counties have announced delayed graduation ceremonies to help seniors mark their rite of passage during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hillsborough County public school graduations will be held in July, according to a district announcement.
Pasco County graduations will be held in August, Pasco County Superintendent Kurt Browning said, during the Pasco County School Board’s April 21 virtual meeting.
“We know that students and parents are anxious to know what these plans are,” Browning said.
“As soon as the dates are set in August, we will push those dates out to moms and dads, and the students and the school administrators,” he said.
The superintendent also said that a virtual celebration is being planned, in the interim.
“We believe it’s important to mark the final week of school with a celebration, so staff is working on a virtual celebration leading up to the last week,” Browning said.
School Board Chairwoman Colleen Beaudoin said, “I really want to thank the superintendent and staff for sharing their plans for graduation, because I have gotten quite a few phone calls and comments from people in our community, and everyone is very concerned about recognizing our seniors. And, I know all of us and all of you share that angst.”
Board member Megan Harding said she wanted to let seniors know that she understands “how heartbreaking” the news was, that students would not return to campus and that graduations would be delayed.
“I want to remind them to finish strong and know that we’re cheering you on, and we are going to be creative and find ways to honor the Class of 2020,” Harding said.
The revised Hillsborough public school graduation dates are listed on that district’s website. As of this time, here are the dates and times set for high schools that are in, or near, The Laker/Lutz News coverage area are:
- Freedom: July 18, 9 a.m.
- Gaither: July 15, 9 a.m.
- Steinbrenner, July 16, 8 p.m.
- Wharton, July 17, 12:30 p.m.
- Sickles, July 20, 4 p.m.
All of the Hillsborough County ceremonies are scheduled to take place at the Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall.
Published May 06, 2020