LARGO — Pinellas County Schools announced June 17 that it would hold in-person graduations at Spectrum Field in Clearwater on July 7-10.
"We heard our high school seniors and their families loud and clear about preserving the tradition of in-person graduation ceremonies," a press release states. "While a traditional ceremony is not possible due to the current safety restrictions under COVID-19, the district is able to provide a modified version of the 2020 Pinellas County Schools graduation ceremonies by blending a unique in-person and virtual experience. The district has worked with state and local medical professionals to create a ceremony that helps ensure the health and well-being of all participants."
Abbreviated live ceremonies at Spectrum Field will be held the week of July 7. Diplomas will be picked up after the ceremony using a “drive-thru” line at Clearwater High School, 540 S. Hercules Ave.
Following are the guidelines for the live processional at Spectrum Field:
• Each graduate will be allowed up to four guests to escort them onto the field, while maintaining a safe social distance from others.
• No seats will be provided. The event will be a walking ceremony.
• Guests will have the opportunity to take pictures of graduates on stage with their principal.
• Guests will reunite with graduates off stage and exit the field while maintaining a safe social distance.
• Families will be directed to Clearwater High School to pick up their graduate’s diploma immediately after the ceremony.
Ceremonies, which may be rescheduled if there is severe weather, will be streamed live and recorded. Traditional portions of the ceremonies have been prerecorded, including messages from principals and student leaders.
Health and safety guidelines
Graduates and guests will be asked self-screening questions before participating in the ceremonies. They will be expected to keep a safe social distance from others and avoid handshaking and other forms of physical contact with others. Specially designed Class of 2020 masks will be provided for graduates, but guests will be expected to provide their own masks. For more information, visit www.pcsb.org/graduation.
Graduation ceremony schedule
Tuesday, July 7
Tarpon Springs HS: 7 to 9 a.m.
Pinellas Park HS: 9:30 a.m. to noon
Countryside HS: 4 to 6 p.m.
Osceola HS: 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Wednesday, July 8
Seminole HS: 7 to 9 a.m.
East Lake HS: 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Lakewood HS: 4 to 5 p.m.
Clearwater HS: 7 to 9 p.m.
Thursday, July 9
Boca Ciega HS: 7 to 9 a.m.
St. Petersburg HS: 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Northeast HS: 4 to 6 p.m.
Palm Harbor HS: 7 to 9:30 p.m.
Friday, July 10
Gibbs HS: 7 to 9 a.m.
Largo HS: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Dixie HS: 4 to 6 p.m.
Dunedin HS: 7 to 9:30 p.m.