School system

The Barrow County School System’s two high schools will present seniors with their diplomas on their originally-scheduled graduation dates, even though there won’t be traditional commencement ceremonies next week. But school officials are still hopeful that traditional ceremonies can be held in late July.

Winder-Barrow High School’s “graduation celebration” will be held Wednesday, May 20, while Apalachee High School will hold one Thursday, May 21, the schools announced Monday, May 11.

Pre-recorded speeches by the schools’ valedictorians, salutatorians and principals will be broadcast on the internet at 6 p.m. each evening, and teams of teachers will then hand-deliver diplomas to students’ home addresses beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Graduates are asked to wear their caps, gowns and other regalia and celebrate with their families. Graduates are also asked to be at their primary home address.

The new plans came after all Georgia public schools were closed to in-person instruction for the remainder of the academic year and the Barrow school district scrapped its originally-scheduled graduation ceremony dates due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Shenley Rountree, director of public relations for the district, said district officials met late last week and finalized the new plans.

Traditional graduation ceremonies will be held July 29 at Winder-Barrow and July 30 at Apalachee, at the schools' football stadiums, if conditions warrant. Times will be announced at a later date.

Rountree said those ceremonies could be part of “senior weeks” at the schools, which would also include a senior picnic and yearbook signing and a senior prom.

More details about the graduation plans are available on the school system’s website at


Meanwhile, Bethlehem Christian Academy officials announced last week that the school will have a traditional graduation ceremony for its seniors at 7 p.m. Friday, July 17, in the Bethlehem Church auditorium.

School officials said they are working on details to allow family members and friends to view a streaming of the ceremony.

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