Hillsborough announces plan to move high school graduations to July

With Florida’s public school campuses closed for the rest of the academic year because of COVID-19, some districts are rescheduling their 2020 graduation events. Hillsborough County on Tuesday announced new dates for graduation ceremonies, targeting July.

A schools spokesperson says the tentative schedule -- which includes graduation dates for traditional high schools, exceptional centers and virtual school -- reserves July 13 through July 21 for commencement at the Florida State Fairgrounds.

The district said a graduation committee, along with student leaders at each high school, collaborated to come up with the July graduation plan, taking into account the senior classes’ wishes. 

“Our district wants to preserve the graduation experience for our seniors,” said new superintendent Addison Davis. “I am proud of their determination to push through an adverse situation and not allow it to stop their success. We will come out of this stronger.”

Guidance from the CDC prohibits mass gatherings such as graduations. The July plan assumes that the CDC’s guidance will be lifted by that time, but if not, a district spokesperson noted that virtual graduation options would then be considered “as a last resort.”

LINK: See the proposed graduation schedule (PDF):