FCPS plans for outdoor graduation ceremonies


FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — Frederick County Public Schools announced Friday their plans to hold in-person outdoor high school graduation ceremonies this spring.

In 2020, FCPS seniors had to celebrate their graduations virtually and had to participate in socially distant events like drive-thru ceremonies.

This year will be a step towards normalcy with outdoor ceremonies planned at each high school’s home stadium.

“We’re thrilled that they’re going to be able to have it,” FCPS Communications Manager Brandon Oland said. “And while we don’t have all the details worked out quite yet, we know that this is something that we’re going to be able to do for our students and families; and we’re really excited.”

Some decisions are still in flux with the state’s 250 person limit on outdoor gatherings.

Kat Williamson’s son is graduating from Middletown in the spring and worries large families will be stuck with the decision of who stays and who can go.

“I think somewhere along the line there’s going to be a lot of people who are left out and that’s heartbreaking, but at the same token I just have to be grateful that they’re going to have the opportunity,” Williamson said. “Even if we weren’t allowed to go at all, it’s about them and their life experience, and not missing out on that.”

FCPS says they will work within the state’s health boundaries and possibly plan multiple ceremonies to accommodate large graduating classes and their loved ones.

Brunswick Senior Jena Rhodes says with everything her class has had to go through this year, it’s better than nothing.

“I think I speak for all seniors when I say none of us were expecting our senior year to look like this and are kind of disappointed,” Rhodes said. “But being able to at least look forward to an in-person graduation is really good to get through this interesting year we’re having.”

The school system says they are planning to incorporate a live streaming component to all of their graduation ceremonies.

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