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Pasco high schools set rules for in-person graduations

Each school will host its own commencement, with dates set for late May and early June.
Pasco eSchool assistant principal Erin Senior records her portion of her school's 2020 virtual graduation ceremony in advance of the event. This year's ceremonies will be in-person.
Pasco eSchool assistant principal Erin Senior records her portion of her school's 2020 virtual graduation ceremony in advance of the event. This year's ceremonies will be in-person. [ Pasco County Schools ]
Published Feb. 25
Updated Feb. 25

Pasco County high school seniors will get the in-person graduation ceremonies they and their parents have been clamoring for.

The events won’t take place at the University of South Florida’s Yuengling Center, though.

After learning the arena won’t be available in June, district officials worked out new arrangements to have each school hold its commencement at its campus stadium. Three smaller schools will hold indoor activities.

They begin on May 26 and will run through June 5.

Principals began sharing the news Thursday afternoon.

Related: Tampa Bay seniors want graduation and prom. Schools are working on it.

Each student will be allowed to invite four guests to the ceremonies — two who may sit on the field with the graduate, and two who would sit in the stands. That’s a change from a year ago, when students could bring two guests.

On the field, the graduate and guests will sit separated from one another, as they were last summer when the schools were able to hold in-person events. In the spring, they opted for virtual graduations, but were inundated with requests to be able to “walk.”

Superintendent Kurt Browning said he and his staff had been discussing for weeks the best way to allow for “normal senior activities” while still meeting the health safety guidelines set forth.

He said decisions have not yet been made on other senior activities such as prom and grad bash.

Here’s the list of graduation dates and times:

Wednesday, May 26: Marchman Technical College, 6 p.m., River Ridge High PAC

Thursday, May 27: Pasco eSchool, 6 p.m., Idlewild Baptist Church

Tuesday, June 1: Wendell Krinn Technical High, 6 p.m., school gymnasium

Wednesday, June 2: Gulf High, 9 a.m.; Anclote High, 9 a.m.; Cypress Creek High, 7 p.m.

Thursday, June 3: River Ridge High, 9 a.m.; Zephyrhills High, 9 a.m.; Wiregrass Ranch Highl, 7 p.m.

Friday, June 4: Hudson High, 9 a.m.; Land O’Lakes High, 7 p.m.; Wesley Chapel High, 7 p.m.; Pasco High, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 5: Fivay High, 9 a.m.; Sunlake High, 9 a.m.; J.W. Mitchell High, 7 p.m.