The outbreak of COVID-19 has forced ceremonies and events that would ordinarily draw large public gatherings to be held in untraditional ways.
Rabun County Schools, Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School and Tallulah Falls School have provided updates on graduation procedures and end-of-year housekeeping activities.
Rabun County Schools
Rabun County Schools will be holding an unprecedented ‘virtual’ graduation ceremony on Friday, May 22 at 8 p.m.
“It will be a video-based graduation,” said superintendent April Childers in a recent interview.
She said that school speeches will be recorded for the video-based graduation.
Justin Spillers, Rabun County High School principal, explained the process for the virtual graduation in a recent email.
“A link to the event will be posted on the Rabun County High School (RCHS) website along with our social media accounts,” Spillers stated. “We will also email the link to each member of the senior class.
Spillers said that this gives students, parents and family members an opportunity to watch the livestream event celebrating the Class of 2020 from the comfort and safety of their homes.
“If you think about our traditional graduation ceremony, the virtual event will follow the same outline and contain almost all of our RCHS traditions,” Spillers said. “We will have a traditional welcome and speeches from our Valedictorian (Ali Ramey), Salutatorian (Will Hightower) and Historian (Mason Sprinkle), along with the individual presentation of each member of the Class of 2020.”
Spillers said that the hope is that each senior and their families will use the opportunity on May 22 to “come together and celebrate this incredible milestone.”
“It would be great to see each senior put on their cap and gown and host a red-carpet-style “Graduation Premiere” with their families from the safety of their own home,” Spillers said.
A face-to-face graduation ceremony has been planned for Saturday, August 1, 2020, provided the state and federal requirements allow for such large assemblies.
Senior Scholarship Night is scheduled for May 12 and will be conducted virtually.
Rabun County Schools released other important end-of-year dates:
May 6 is the final day for new material and instruction with all student work due on May 13. Paper assignments can be dropped off at any food distribution location, the Board of Education or the High School front guard gate during regular school hours.
Remedial and optional enrichment will be May 14-22.
Report cards will be mailed during June and K-8 students will receive notification of grade placement on their report card.
Placement for students 9-12 will be based on the number of credits earned.
Current grades and missing assignments can be checked on the Parent PowerSchool Portal.
Current meal distribution will continue until May 22.
For updates and additional information, go to their website at https://www.rabuncountyschools.org/
Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School
Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School is planning baccalaureate and graduation for Sunday, August 9, according to Megan Morris, director of marketing and communication for Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School.
“I feel strongly that your class deserves celebration, reflection and closure before you go your separate ways to college and beyond,” said Head of School Jeff Miles said in a recent message to the Class of 2020.
He also released a letter giving words of encouragement during this difficult time:
“I am grateful for the tremendous dedication of our employee community and the trust of our families and students as we move forward during what is an unprecedented time of uncertainty and challenge in our world. We are “One Community” and we will face this challenging transition with the strength and dedication that come in our shared commitment to holding fast and true to all that is special about our Rabun Gap family.”
To check updates on COVID-19 and events, visit https://www.rabungap.org/covid-19-updates
Tallulah Falls School
Tallulah Falls President and Head of School Larry Peevy has released a statement regarding a campus update as it relates to COVID-19 and school functions:
“Unfortunately, a traditional commencement ceremony will not be possible,” Peevy said.
He said that the school is working to develop an alternative commencement plan to celebrate the graduates.
“TFS faculty, staff and administration recognize that graduation is a joyous time for our students and their families,” Peevy said.
He stated that he would provide updates on adjustments to the schedule.
“We thank all of our stakeholders as we work collaboratively to navigate through these difficult times in an effort to keep our TFS family safe,” Peevy said.
For campus updates visit their website at this link: https://www.tallulahfalls.org/our-community/coronavirus_information.cms.