FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Persistently high numbers of positive COVID-19 cases have forced the Forsyth County School System to modify in-person graduation ceremonies this month.

The district had been among the handful of school systems across the state this year offering students the traditional graduation “walk.”

Class of 2020 graduates will still be saluted in ceremonies at Infinite Energy Center in Duluth at the end of July, but with far fewer people in attendance. In late June Gov. Brian Kemp extended the state’s public health emergency through August 11, which leaves in place restrictions on large gatherings.

“To comply with this order the Infinite Energy Center is decreasing all high school guest ticket numbers from 7,700 to 2,600 to meet social distancing requirements,” said Jennifer Caracciolo, Communications Director for Forsyth Schools.

Senior guest ticket allotments will be reduced from 10 tickets to four. The exception is Lambert High School where students will receive three tickets each because of the large number of graduates. Students looking for additional tickets can enter a lottery for any unclaimed tickets.

“We understand this information is very disappointing,” Caracciolo said. “However, as a state requirement it cannot be modified.”

Graduation schedules at Infinite Energy Arena in Duluth are:

Thursday, July 30 

  • 9 a.m. – Denmark High School
  • 2 p.m. – Lambert High School
  • 7 p.m. – South Forsyth High School

Friday, July 31 

  • 9 a.m. – Forsyth Central High School
  • 2 p.m. – West Forsyth High School
  • 7 p.m. – North Forsyth High School

All graduation ceremonies will be live streamed. District officials did not rule out additional changes to the plan should the public health situation change in Georgia in the coming weeks.

Virtual graduation ceremonies for the nearly 3.500 students in the Class or 2020 were held in late May for the district’s six high schools.

Candy Waylock is an award winning education reporter who has covered all things education for Appen Media over the past 20 years. She is an Alpharetta resident.

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