Cap, Gown – and Gloves

Monroe Area High School seniors received their caps, gowns and other graduation memorabilia on April 27, 2020, with school staffers like Maggie Stephens, an early childhood education teacher and Monroe Kiddie Canes preschool program director, passing the items into cars.

Although the local school systems were forced to curtail the school year due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Social Circle City Schools is still planning to hold a graduation ceremony, but with adjustments due to existing shelter-in-place concerns.

Social Circle Superintendent Robbie Hooker issued a statement Thursday with new dates and times for end-of-year proceedings.

The school system will still hold graduation on May 22, as previously planned, but it will now be a virtual ceremony to maintain social distancing while the coronavirus still threatens.

But the system still plans to hold a traditional graduation ceremony, with caps, gowns and cheering loved ones watching students collect diplomas. The new plan will see that event occur the weekend of July 24-25, though details are still being hashed out for that event.

“Through the past five weeks, we have worked to make the best and safest decisions for our students, faculty, staff and community based upon the information we know,” Hooker said. “Throughout this entire process, we have longed to honor you, the Class of 2020.  We worked to solicit your feedback while making sure we do things in ways to keep everyone safe.  We have reached a decision that we believe best meets the needs of all.”

Hooker said the new dates will allow the system time to let the virus threat hopefully lessen and allow for larger events to take place once more.

“This plan will allow us to honor you now on the original graduation date, while also allowing you the traditional ceremony you so strongly desire,” Hooker said. “More details will follow. At the moment it is important to let you know of our decision and overall plan. You are each uniquely special to us and we are committed to celebrating your accomplishments.”

Other dates announced as part of Social Circle’s end-of-year plan include:

  • Friday:  Seniors who are satisfied with their grades may be considered complete and may stop completing assignments. Check first to double-check overall GPA and HOPE GPA.
  • May 5: Students stop by the school between 1-5 p.m. to drop off uniforms, books, computers, etc. after completing all schoolwork.
  • May 18-21: Students may stop by between noon and 6 p.m. to pick up items from lockers and drop off any remaining books, computers, etc. that need to be returned. 
  • May 22:  Virtual Graduation will be released at 8 p.m.
  • May 26-27: Pick up diplomas
  • July 24-25: More information will be provided about a traditional graduation ceremony

Monroe Area

Monroe Area High School allowed students to pick up caps and gowns and senior signs Monday for a graduation ceremony which may occur on the current May 21 date.

If that is not possible, alternative dates have been proposed on June 18 and July 16, depending on various factors.

News Editor

Stephen Milligan is the news editor of The Walton Tribune. He lives in Monroe and is a graduate of the University of Georgia.

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