Bartow County school officials continue to piece together end-of-year activities for the high schools.
The latest decisions that have been announced involve cap and gown pickup for seniors, a schedule for laptop and other returns and times for virtual baccalaureate services and graduation ceremonies.
Following all state and local health department guidelines, seniors will be able to pick up their caps and gowns Friday at an outdoor distribution site at their high school. Monday will be the makeup day if inclement weather forces cancellation.
During this time, the soon-to-be graduates also can retrieve medications they left at school; turn in laptops, chargers and cases; and pay all late fees and fines they might owe.
Students in grades 9-11 can drop off their laptops and other materials, pick up medication and pay fines and late fees next Wednesday, May 20, at their school, with next Thursday, May 21, being the makeup day in case of a weather-related cancellation.
Arrival times for all high school students will be based on their last names:
Begins with A-C: Arrive at 9 a.m.
Begins with D-F: Arrive at 10 a.m.
Begins with G-I: Arrive at 10:30 a.m.
Begins with J-L: Arrive at 11 a.m.
Begins with M-O: Arrive at 11:35 a.m.
Begins with P-R: Arrive at 12:10 p.m.
Begins with S-U: Arrive at 12:45 p.m.
Begins with V-Z: Arrive at 1:15 p.m.
Gates will be locked at 2 p.m.
Woodland High’s 300 seniors will receive a gift from their school when they pick up their graduation attire Friday.
As a tribute to the class that has faced “unique challenges” this year, the faculty and staff will be providing each graduating senior with a customized yard sign to recognize their excellence, according to a post on WHS’s Facebook page.
“Once we knew that several significant senior events would be affected by the COVID closure, our staff began discussing ways to show our seniors that we cared about them and celebrated their accomplishments, even if we couldn’t see them face to face,” Principal David Stephenson. “Our counselors and teachers took it from there. Since the Woodland zone stretches so far east to west, we knew that it would help unite our community behind our seniors to have the Class of 2020 recognized in yards and windows.”
Stephenson added that teacher leaders at the high school are “continuing to explore ways to connect with and recognize the special place that the Class of 2020 holds in our hearts.”
Next on the calendar will be a virtual baccalaureate service for graduating seniors at Adairsville, Cass and Woodland high schools next Friday, May 22, at 7 p.m.
Seniors and their parents should keep an eye on their school’s social media sites and websites for more details.
As for graduation, if state and local laws allow, Woodland will host its commencement ceremony June 25 at 10 a.m., followed by Adairsville at 2 p.m. and Cass at 6 p.m., at LakePoint Sports, “due to its large seating capacity; ability to accommodate more families in a safe manner; air conditioning; superior audio, video and lighting system; and free parking,” a Facebook post said.
“However, safety remains our top priority,” it said. “If conditions do not allow for traditional ceremonies on June 25, alternative dates in August or September will be considered.”
School and district officials also are working with LakePoint on how to safely accommodate guests and will release information on ticket availability as soon as possible while also continuing to monitor large-group restrictions as they evolve.
In addition to high school news, the district announced last week that the school system will reopen its doors to the public Monday.
The front offices of all 20 schools as well as the central office at 65 Gilreath Road in Cartersville will be fully staffed, but health department guidelines will be followed, including strict social-distancing requirements at all locations.
“This reopening plan will allow for more support as we close out the current academic year and make preparations to start a new school year in August,” a post on the school district’s Facebook page said.
Normal summer operating hours of 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday will go into effect June 1.
“We hope this provides clarity as we move into the summer months and continue to plan for prom, graduation and the start of the 2020-2021 academic year,” the post said.