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Lincoln Herald | Lincolnton, NC

home : community : community September 29, 2020

5/13/2020 6:57:00 AM
School Board Talks Graduation

Lincoln Herald Staff

At its meeting Tuesday evening (May 12th) the Lincoln County Board of Education approved plans for graduation ceremonies for the four high schools. Graduations will be held on May 29th and 30th.   

Under the revised plan, graduates will still participate in the commencement ceremony for their respective school on May 29th or 30th, but to accommodate mass gathering and social distancing guidelines, the format of the commencement ceremony will be different from previous years.

The district has been reviewing state and local graduation guidelines provided by the Governor’s Executive Order, the Health Department and the Department of Public Instruction for many weeks to consider graduation options. Mass gathering restrictions and social distancing guidelines eliminated the possibility of continuing a “traditional” graduation ceremony for each high school. As a result, school and district officials were tasked with considering other options.

District and school administrators met multiple times to review a variety of options. High school seniors were provided an opportunity to provide input and feedback in multiple forms to identify their preferences for the format of graduation.  The format of approved options available included a drive-in, drive-through/parade, individualized, or 'virtual' commencement ceremony.

Each high school will consider and coordinate the option that is most feasible and meets the needs of the graduates of that school.  Specific graduation plans will then be announced for each high school.  The public is advised to continue to monitor high school and district social media platforms and websites for the latest information.

At their meeting Tuesday night, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board announced that their schools will hold prerecorded 'virtual' graduations that will include speeches and the reading of each graduate’s name with photos.  Students and families will be able to watch, then the grads will get their diplomas during a drive-thru ceremony. A school-based celebration will be held later in the year for graduates.

Cabarrus County Schools will hold their graduation at Charlotte Motor Speedway June 12th and 13th.  A big-screen video will be used for speeches, etc. and the grads and their parents will then be able to take a lap around the track, getting their diplomas at the finish line.  

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The other big item on the School Board agenda for Tuesday was grading.  Schools have been closed since March 13th, so grading in the traditional way seemed impossible.  The board decided that elementary and middle school students will not receive traditional grades for the year, and high school students in grades 9-11 will have the option of choosing between a grade of pass/no credit or a numeric grade for their spring semester 2020 courses. High school students in grades 9-11 may also receive an additional five (5) points added onto their final numeric grade based upon their participation in remote learning.

The grading policy for the current year will allow high school students in grades 9-11 and non-graduating seniors to choose which option is in their best interest under remote instruction. Students will also have the option of receiving a grade of pass for the semester, based on their course grade as of March 13th. Students who were not passing will be able to raise their grade to a pass or a passing numeric grade. Otherwise, the course will not appear on their high school transcript.

A letter will be sent home to high school students providing students and parents with guidance for each option. Students will have 45 days from the start of school in August to finalize their selection on their transcript. Guidance counselors will be available to assist students in the process.

High school seniors will not receive a traditional numerical grade but will receive a grade of pass or withdraw for the spring semester.

Elementary and middle school students will not receive a final numeric grade on their report card but will receive feedback concerning their academic progress for the 2019-2020 school year. Individual decisions regarding promotion and retention of students will remain the responsibility of the school principal.

The Board of Education updated the 2019-2020 school calendar with the official 'last day of school' for students now set for May 22nd.  May 26-29 will now become mandatory teacher workdays.  Final student report cards will be available to students and parents the first week of June.

When the late Larry Dellinger started the Lincoln Herald in 2012, he knew that the world had changed.  He had spent half a century in the newspaper business, but he realized that the future of news reporting would be on the internet.  By 2018, internet news had equaled television as a primary source for local news, while print newspaper readership and subscriptions continued to decline. 

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