Jefferson County High School to Honor Graduating 2020 Seniors

Jefferson County High School is proud to announce plans for the 45th Commencement Exercises for the Graduating Class of 2020. Although we have had many challenges since our schools closed their doors in March due to COVID-19, providing a graduation for our senior students has been a priority. In order to comply with state and CDC guidelines, we will host a virtual graduation, but the following plan will allow every senior to walk across the stage and receive his/her diploma, and to share the celebration of graduation with their families and the community.

The following is an outline of this plan:

  • On May 18-20, 2020, seniors will be assigned to time slots in which they will come to the main campus of JCHS. Students will follow social distancing guidelines throughout the time they are on campus. They will bring any JCHS property that needs to be returned (i.e., computers, uniforms, etc.) as well as any outstanding fees that need to be paid. They will receive their caps and gowns, along with any cords or stoles they have earned, and they will walk across the stage of the auditorium and receive their diploma from the JCHS administration. The JCS Technology Department will be videoing the students as they receive their diplomas, and students will have their pictures taken by Creative Images. Once students have walked across the stage, they will pick up any senior items they purchased, along with yearbooks if available. Additionally, the high school will be providing yard signs that can posted on families’ lawns announcing their students have graduated.
  • In order to maintain the safety of all students and staff, students may only be on campus during the time they are assigned. It is important to note that no one may accompany the student to the school during their assigned time. All staff will wear facemasks and other protective equipment, and students will be provided with facemasks upon entering the building.
  • Once all seniors have had the opportunity to return school property, pick up items ordered, and walk across the stage to receive their diplomas, the JCS Technology Team will use the videos taken to create a virtual graduation ceremony that will be available for families to watch online.
  • On May 23, 2020, we will host a Senior Celebration Day with a parade. Seniors will be asked to meet at their home middle schools and we will follow the schedule below:
    • 9:00—Seniors will line up in vehicles at the middle schools they attended. Those seniors who did not attend middle school in Jefferson County will line up at Dandridge Elementary School. For everyone’s safety, no one will be allowed to exit their vehicles.
    • 9:30—SROs will lead a parade of student cars beginning at Rush Strong and White Pine Schools.
    • 9:50—The parade will pick up students at Maury Middle and Jefferson Middle, and shortly thereafter Dandridge Elementary. The parade will continue to the high school, where vehicles will enter the campus via the Highway 92/Holt Center gate. Students coming from RSS and JMS will enter campus first; students coming from WPS, MMS, and DES will remain in the left lane to allow other traffic to continue to flow past them.
    • Once on campus, students will take one final motor tour of the campus, taking a victory lap by the softball, baseball, and football stadiums, exiting at the tennis courts and flowing out to the traffic light on Highway 92. Students must always remain in their vehicles.
    • Families may ride with their seniors but are asked to observe the limit of one car per graduate. Other family members/friends may line up along Hwy 92 from I-40 and Jefferson City to cheer their seniors on.
    • All safety rules of the road will be observed. Local law enforcement agencies will assist in the orderly procession of the parade throughout the county and once on the JCHS campus
  • After the parade, at 12:00 PM on May 23, 2020, families can gather in their homes to watch the final video presentation of the 45th Commencement Exercises of Jefferson County High School Graduating Class of 2020. The full commencement program will be available on YouTube for viewing and downloading; additionally, one complementary DVD copy will be mailed to every senior the following week.

Detailed instructions and information about requesting DVDs will be made available on the school’s website by May 11, 2020. This will include instructions regarding when each senior should report to the main campus, what to wear, and how to proceed once they arrive. Seniors MUST adhere strictly to the time slots they are given.

Again, for the safety of all involved, we ask that only seniors report to the main campus on their assigned dates/times. The school district has reviewed this plan with the local health department and state and federal guidelines will be followed. The use of personal protective equipment and social distancing will be followed. Parents and/or guests will not be allowed on campus during this time.

Director of Schools

“We are excited to safely offer our students and families a graduation experience. The virtual graduation experience will allow students the opportunity to both experience their special day and celebrate the accomplishment with their families. Our first choice was a traditional graduation, but due to uncertainty of the coming months guidelines, we have decided to proceed with the May virtual ceremony. The possibility of not being able to have a traditional ceremony due to health restrictions mixed with the fact that many students may be unable to attend helped us decide to proceed in May. The administration and staff of JCHS will work to make this a very special day for our students and families.” (Johnston)

Source: Shane Johnston, Director of Jefferson County Schools and Scott Walker, Principal of Jefferson County High School