High school and college seniors are experiencing disappointment as their graduation and commencement ceremonies have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The milestone celebration is something many students and their families look forward to for their entire lives.

Lexington County School District One administered a survey to the senior class of 2020 asking them to address their feelings about their graduation ceremonies being cancelled. After receiving feedback, the district made the decision to honor the desire of the class of 2020 by holding graduation ceremonies for the district's five high schools.

Ceremonies will be held at each school’s football stadium.

“When I heard that there will be a graduation ceremony, I was ecstatic and emotional,” said Gisela Lara, mother of a Lexington High School senior. “I was feeling sad about graduation potentially not happening for the kids.”

Lara said she was initially thankful to the school district for placing signs in the front yards of each graduating senior, including one for her son Shayne.

Lara’s son, Shayne Pachas is also grateful that he will experience an in-person graduation in June. “I am excited that we are having a graduation ceremony, but I am a little upset that only two family members can come,” Pachas said. “At the end of the day though, it’s okay because we will maintain social distancing and at least we get to experience a proper graduation ceremony.”

Pachas will continue his education in the fall at Midlands Technical College, majoring in construction engineering.

Lexington One will hold graduation ceremonies on the following dates:

Pelion High School - Wed, May 27, at 8 am

Gilbert High School - Thurs, May 28, at 8 am

White Knoll High School - Fri, May 29, at 8 am

Lexington High School - Mon, June 1, at 8 am

River Bluff High School - Wed, June 3, at 8 am

Weather make-up - May 30, 31, and June 2, 4, & 5

The graduation ceremonies will be streamed live and the district will mail each graduate a DVD of the ceremony. The district will maintain social distancing guidelines by providing graduates with two tickets for family members to attend the ceremonies.

Each school principal will send information to their students and families regarding arrival times, temperature taking, masks, traffic flow and dress code.

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