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What Hall County is planning for 2021 graduations, proms
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Families of graduates park in the Chestatee High School parking lot Thursday, May 21, 2020, for the school's graduation ceremony. Graduates exit their cars to walk across a temporary stage set up to receive their diplomas. The school used three ceremonies to accommodate the entire senior class. - photo by Scott Rogers

There will be in-person graduations and proms this year at Hall County Schools.

The district announced graduation ceremonies will be held for all seven high schools at 7 p.m. May 14 in the high school stadiums. If inclement weather occurs, the event will be moved to 9 a.m. Saturday, May 15. In the case of further inclement weather, ceremonies can be scheduled for the next available evening at 7 p.m., according to the release.

“Quite honestly we know the great outdoors is our friend,” Superintendent Will Schofield said at the Monday, Feb. 22, school board meeting, noting that nailing something down now will allow families to make plans.

Each graduate will receive a maximum number of tickets depending on social distancing within the stadium. Ticket numbers are contingent on the community spread around the time of the ceremony, according to a news release. 

Graduations in 2020 were delayed and many involved outdoor stages, drive-through ceremonies and videos shown on giant screens. 

Proms will return this year, too, though the COVID-19 pandemic will push them to look different, including the possibility of limiting it to just seniors and their dates. 

There will be limitations such as mask wearing, temperature checks and special precautions with food, said Chestatee High School Principal Suzanne Jarrard, who joined the meeting via Zoom. High school principals are set to gather ideas and feedback on the event planning through student groups and staff committees. As planning is underway, the release said outdoor venues are preferred. 

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Chestatee High School Principal Suzanne Jarrard addresses the Hall County Board of Education on Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. The board met in person and Jarrard joined over Zoom. Meetings are live-streamed to YouTube. - photo by Shannon Casas

“Our hearts are leaning toward this senior class who didn’t get a prom last year,” Schofield said. “I’m confident our team will find a safe way and plan to make this happen.”

More information on graduation ceremonies and prom will be available in the coming weeks.

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