graduation

Tallassee City Schools Board of Education held a work session on Tuesday to determine a date and plan for the Class of 2020 graduation ceremony.

The ceremony will take place Friday, May 29, beginning at 8 p.m.

"We will have a semi-normal graduation," Tallassee High School principal Matt Coker said. Every graduate will get six tickets to give to their family members."

With stricter guidelines in place for this year's graduation ceremony, seating will be limited.

"Each graduate's family will have an assigned seat in the stadium. We will have more details later, but the plan is to put the stadium seating chart out. Do that early enough so that people will know where they will be sitting," Coker said.

Right now, the plan is to seat families in alphabetical order.

"We have decided 100 percent yet, but we will probably use alphabetical order," Coker said.

Unless another form of designated seating is devised, alphabetical order seating is the safest option

"Some people say that's not fair, and the answer is our number one goal is the safety of the people that attending and our graduates," Coker said. "If we don't have a method that includes when a family comes into the stadium, they know where they are seated, so people aren't walking around looking."

Those who plan to attend the graduation ceremony should come to the stadium with an understanding of where their designed seating is located.

"There will be congregating," Coker said.

Unlike past years, family members will not be allowed to storm the field following the joyous occasion.

"None of the parents will be allowed on the field before or after graduation," Coker said. "We still have to maintain the six-foot social distancing."

According to Coker, restrooms will be accessible with guidelines in place to enforce social distancing.

"We will probably have a monitor there, probably an officer, that may ley two people in at a time."

With these safety guidelines in place, Coker said those in attendance will have to assume some personal responsibility.

"The public has to do what we ask of them. They have to take that responsibility. We're going to handle the students. We are going to keep them six-feet apart, but the adults in the community, we need them to follow the guidelines of social distancing," he said.

It is a longstanding tradition for graduates to walk across J.E. Hot O'Brien Stadium, and while he and the board members have worked hard to see that the Class of 2020 has that opportunity, safety is the first and foremost priority.

"Our goal is to give our students a graduation on the field, have their parents and close family members there, and, number one, to keep everyone as safe we possibly can," Coker said.