Dr. Battle releases plans for celebrating graduates

Dr. Adrienne Battle

Director of Schools Dr. Adrienne Battle is releasing Metro Schools’ plans to celebrate the accomplishments and achievements of the graduating class of 2020. As typical graduation ceremonies can’t happen in May due to social distancing requirements, MNPS will safely show our appreciation for the work of our students in new ways.

“This year has been hard on us all, but most especially our senior class, who have worked their whole lives to get to this moment only to have many of the traditions and celebrations taken away due to COVID-19,” said Dr. Battle. “The plans we’ve put forward will see that the achievements of our graduates are recognized and appreciated by each school and the Nashville community as a whole.”

Specific dates and times will vary based on the school, but this week seniors began picking up their caps and gowns from their schools by curbside pickup. During the time when graduation ceremonies would normally take place May 16-20, schools will be hosting graduation processionals where seniors will dress up in their caps and gowns, decorate cars, and drive through a line to pick up their diploma covers.

Meanwhile, MNPS will be producing a district-wide virtual graduation ceremony that will feature celebrities and civic leaders and show the community’s collective appreciation and support for graduates. Further details, including a date and time for airing the program in June, will be forthcoming.

“While we’d love to gather in person to celebrate all of the great accomplishments of our seniors, that simply can’t happen in the normal time frame,” said Dr. Battle. “We hope these socially distant celebrations will result in lasting, joyful memories for graduates and their families, while we still look to a potential in-person celebration to reunite classmates and faculty whose last weeks in school were abruptly canceled.”

If social distancing guidelines have been lifted by the summer, the district will host a community graduation ceremony for all Class of 2020 graduates who want to participate in an in-person graduation experience to reconnect with classmates and faculty. This will be contingent upon federal, state, and local guidance and restrictions.

In other news related to the extended school closures, students will be allowed to pick up their belongings left at school and drop off any school property (not including loaned laptops) on May 21 and May 22. Principals are developing individualized plans for staff to package up the belongings to be dropped off at cars and will communicate those plans to students and families next week, along with the times available.

Further graduation details and updates can be found at https://www.mnps.org/graduation2020.