LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Jefferson County Public Schools will host virtual graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2020 after Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio said the district cannot have tradition ceremonies this month.
The district will livestream 25 ceremonies on YouTube, all featuring speeches from students and principals. Every student's name will be read. Pollio said some schools with small graduating classes may share ceremonies.
“They’ve shown such resilience, determination, patience through this and I know that it is one of the most challenging things they never thought they would have to go through to end their high school career this way,” JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio said.
Pollio said the district will also celebrate its seniors in different ways throughout the month, including ads and videos.
Every JCPS high school football stadium will light up from 8 to 9 p.m. Friday to highlight seniors. Louisville City FC’s Lynn Family Stadium will be lit up from 8 p.m. to midnight as well.
“We do want to celebrate the class of 2020 over the next three to four weeks, the rest of May, and to show the great accomplishments of this class,” Pollio said.
On May 18, 21 TARC buses will have banners on the sides with the name of a JCPS high school and all of its graduates. Additionally, the district is producing videos for each high school to air during local newscasts. WHAS11 also celebrates every senior individually through senior shoutouts.
Graduation speeches of several JCPS seniors will air on WHAS Radio during the Tony and Dwight Show. WAMZ will also run 30-second “moments” from seniors recounting their senior years and thanking their classmates and teachers.
“That’s going to be a lot of work but we are committed to doing this,” Pollio said.
Pollio said he still hopes to have in-person graduations this fall, but wanted to ensure the Class of 2020 was celebrated before then.
“I still hope to have in-person graduation ceremonies and celebrations for every 2020 graduate this fall,” Pollio said. “But just in case we can’t, I want our seniors to know that we did our best to make the end of their high school career as special as possible.”
JCPS has 15 days left of non-traditional learning. Pollio said the district has seen 90% participation rate every week.
The University of Louisville also announced its commencement ceremonies will be held virtually Saturday, May 9. People can watch the ceremony here.