CMS Increases Guest Limit To 4 For In-Person Graduation Ceremonies

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools have increased the number of guests allowed to attend in-person graduation ceremonies to four guests per graduate.

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CMS officials say this announcement comes after a recent ease of COVID-19 restrictions in North Carolina, and tickets, which will be delivered to schools at a later date, are required for entry into any of the graduation venues

Officials say graduation ceremonies will be held at Bojangles Coliseum, Ovens Auditorium and the Charlotte Convention Center, and will all be live streamed for remote viewing, so that families of students unable to attend in-person can still celebrate their students’ graduation.

In addition to the limited number of guests able to attend, officials say the number school staff able to attend graduation ceremonies in-person will also be limited.

Some Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools plan on holding end-of-year celebrations with various arts performances, club events, class events, and more. Officials say no visitors will be permitted to attend these events, and these end-of-year activities include a mix of in-person, virtual, or pre-recorded formats.

CMS staff members gave their input to say, while it is important to provide these experiences for the students, it is too early to relax protocols and potentially jeopardize a safe end to the school year by opening up in-person capacity limits further.

“As a parent, I would love to see my children perform and be recognized at their school. As a district, we are committed to us all being able to do this as soon as possible. We can’t risk moving backward at a time when our schools are developing a rhythm of in-person teaching and learning,” says CMS Superintendent Earnest Winston. “This course of action prioritizes the well-being of our students, enables them to experience celebrations and activities, while allowing our school personnel to responsibly manage operations at the school level.”

Officials say students transitioning from elementary school to middle school, or middle school to high school, will also have opportunities for end-of-year celebrations.

More information on these school-based celebrations will be provided to families by their student’s school, according to CMS officials.