Mercer County Families,
We realize that the cancellation of the In-Person graduation ceremony scheduled for this weekend is disappointing to all our seniors and their families. The decision to move from an In-Person Ceremony to a Virtual/Live Facebook ceremony was made with great deliberation and consultation from those we consider to be the health experts for our community.
On July 15th, the Mercer County Health Department approved the proposed In-Person graduation plan scheduled for August 1. On July 20th, the Governor came out with recommendations limiting the number of people at social events to less than 10. After this recommendation, we requested clarification to determine if we would be allowed to have the graduation ceremony. We submitted this question to Dr. White from the Department of Public Health, Commissioner Brown with KDE, and the Mercer Co. Health Department.
While the Mercer Co. Health Department did approve our initial plan on July 15th, when we requested clarification based upon the Governor’s new recommendations, we learned that while the plan was still considered a good plan, it was not recommended that we proceed at this time. Following this, we consulted with the Mercer Co. School Board Attorney, who also recommended that we follow the Mercer Co. Health Department’s recommendation.
At this time, we began discussions to determine what to do in lieu of an In-Person Ceremony. On July 28th we reviewed the Google Form, which had been available to students and families since July 17th, to determine the number of students who were still interested in attending and who had responded. 63 students acknowledged they would be in attendance and 3 responded they would not attend. In early May, the graduation committee developed a plan, that if we could not hold an In-Person graduation in August, we would postpone until Oct. 3rd. However, based upon the limited number of students responding and willing to attend, we determined that a Virtual/Facebook Live ceremony held in August may appeal more to students than an In-Person ceremony held later.
Since this information was shared, we have received multiple calls expressing the desire to continue with an In-Person ceremony. After consultation with the graduation committee members, we will postpone the In-Person Graduation Ceremony until October 3rd, which was the original alternate date. We will not have a Virtual/Facebook Live Ceremony this Saturday, August 1st.
Thank you to those who have reached out to us to make us aware of your continued interest for an In-Person ceremony. We are hopeful that we will be able to do this in October.
Spencer Tatum, Principal
Mercer Co. Schools
Dennis Davis, Superintendent
Mercer Co. Schools