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Vermilion Parish: 600-plus Individual high school graduations will happen in May

It won’t be a normal graduation ceremony, but there will be a graduation ceremony, announced interim superintendent Brad Prudhomme.
At a school board meeting on Thursday, Prudhomme updated the school board members on what the game plan is for high school graduation.
Instead of having one graduation per high school, there will be individual graduations
Over a four-day period in May, there will be more than 600 individual graduations.
Prudhomme informed the school board members that graduations will be spread out over a three to four day period, starting May 14 and ending May 17
He also sent a press \release announcing the school district’s graduation plans.
“Thank you for your patience as you waited for our Vermilion Parish School System to find the best possible scenario for the Class of 2020 Graduation Commencement,” said Prudhomme. “Given the extension of the governor’s stay-home orders through May 15th, as well as recommendations by the CDC, we have evaluated how we could best provide our 2020 graduates with the recognition they deserve under the current circumstances.
After careful consideration, our decision is to conduct modified ceremonies prior to the end of the month of May, as delaying past May will present additional challenges for those students that will be pursuing post high school graduation plans. Though the graduation ceremony will look different, we are committed to creating an event that recognizes our graduates in a special and individualized way.  We recognize the hard work that our graduates have dedicated to their education.”
Beginning on Thursday, May 14 - Sunday, May 17th, each of the Vermilion Parish High Schools will schedule a ceremony for our graduates to receive their diplomas individually on each campus.
Schools will schedule our seniors in the order they would have processed for their graduation. The graduates will wear their cap and gown and walk to receive their diploma from their school administrator at a staged area.  Each graduate will be allowed five guests to attend the modified ceremony.  Graduates and their families will have individual times with their school administrators.  This moment will be captured by a professional photographer and videoed by the school. A Graduation Commencement compilation video will be made available to include the traditional graduation components.  
All social distancing directives will be in place during this ceremony. Graduates and their parents will always remain at least six feet apart from other graduates/parents. Masks will not be distributed to the general public; however, we encourage our guests to wear your own mask. Any student or parent not comfortable with attending this ceremony should contact the school principal to make other arrangements to receive their diploma.
 Each school will send individual details on how graduates and families will proceed through the ceremony, including arrival times, parking, staging, and photographer packages. 
“Though this is not our traditional graduation, we feel that this process will commemorate this special event in the lives of our graduates during this most unprecedented time,” said Prudhomme.  
Each school is holding different types of ceremonies

Erath High has 145 graduates and will start around 7 a.m. and stop at 6 p.m. Principal Marc Turner said it will take an hour to do six graduates. EHS can hand out 72 diplomas in 12 hours. The school will start on May 16 and end it on May 17.
Erath High is doing it in the gym and they will allow the valedictorians to give their speeches in front of a video camera. One graduate and family at a time will be allowed in the gym.
North Vermilion Principal Tommy Byler and Kaplan Principal Patricia Thibodeaux are still working on the details of when and where the mini-graduations will take place.
Abbeville High will be outside by the front entrance or inside by the office and then photos will be taken in the gym. Like Erath, AHS has about 145 graduates and will take two days to hand out diplomas. .
Abbeville High principal Dr. Janet Guerrini has not ironed out all the details of the graduation as of Friday, but she is trying to make it as special as possible for the graduates.
“They deserve something,” said Dr. Guerrini. “This is supposed to be the seniors time. But instead, they have no prom. No award ceremonies. Everything is cancelled. We have to do something to celebrate them completing 12 years of education.”
Gueydan is having its graduation inside the auditorium and only the student and family will be allowed into the auditorium.
All schools will video the graduation and some are going live on Facebook for others to view.


Vermilion Today

Abbeville Meridional

318 N. Main St.
Abbeville, LA 70510
Phone: 337-893-4223
Fax: 337-898-9022

The Kaplan Herald

219 North Cushing Avenue
Kaplan, LA 70548

The Gueydan Journal

311 Main Street
Gueydan, LA 70542