5.21 schools

Schools in Madison County won't able to hold normal in-person graduation ceremonies — at least not at this time — because of the COVID-19 crisis.

The Class of 2020, though, will be honored.

Just in a completely unconventional way.

Madison Central, Madison Southern, Model Laboratory and Berea Community are all planning activities to honor their seniors.

On Wednesday, Southern and Central will play host to senior drive-thru events. On Thursday, Model is set for a drive-in graduation at Eastern Kentucky University.

Berea is planning an event for seniors that will be held in the school's parking lot on Friday, May 29.

Officials from both Southern and Central are still optimistic they will be able to hold a more traditional commencement ceremony later this summer, perhaps as late as July or August.

"We are still hoping for an in-person graduation," Central Principal Brandon Fritz said.

Central's senior drive-thru is set to start at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

Cars will be directed through a route that will be lined with yard signs featuring the names of all 450 of the school's graduates.

The Central senior class is also sponsoring a food drive. Items can be dropped at a designated point during the parade. The public is encouraged to contribute to the drive.

At the end of the route, staff members will bring the student's diploma to their car.

Southern's drive-thru graduation event will run from 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesday.

The route will run in front of the school, through the bus lane. Students will be presented with their diploma, transcripts, awards and a gift bag.

Families who can attend the event can pick up those items on Thursday or Friday at the school's office between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Southern's is set to graduate around 300 students this year.

The school also has prepared a virtual graduation video, which will be released on Friday.

Model has just 45 seniors in this year's class.

They, however, will also get a very special ceremony.

At 7:30 p.m. Thursday, the Class of 2020 is set to gather in the parking lot of Alumni Coliseum for a drive-in ceremony.

Seniors will drive (or be driven) to front of the crowd, will get out, take the stage to accept their diploma, wave to the crowd, then get back in their cars.

Spectators can watch the event from their automobiles, but only one family will be allowed per car. Everyone must stay in their cars, and vehicles must stay six feet apart.

The audio of the event will be broadcast on 89.5 FM.

There will be fireworks at the end of the ceremonty.

Model students also took part in a virtual graduation earlier this month. The seniors were allowed into the EKU Center for the Arts and were filmed as they walked across the stage in their caps and gowns.

The video of those students will be released on Thursday as well. A link to where to watch the video will be included in the program, which will be handed out when students/family and friends pull into the parking lot.

Berea Community is set to graduate about 60 seniors this year.

Officials at the school are finalizing plans for the drive-thru event. More details will be released soon.

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