Hamilton County Releases Rescheduled Graduation Dates and Revised Graduation and Testing Requirements

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HAMILTON COUNTY RELEASES RESCHEDULED GRADUATION DATES AND REVISED GRADUATION AND TESTING REQUIREMENTS -- A couple of weeks ago, Hamilton County released new graduation dates and grade stipulations for the 2019-2020 school year as a result of COVID-19.

DayOnna Carson, Editor in Chief

On Friday, April 17, Hamilton County sent an email. It contained important updates regarding the status of schools’ senior graduations. Although Central’s graduation was originally planned for May 12, it has changed to comply with the county’s decisions.

“For the safety of staff, seniors, and families, the district has postponed our original plans for graduation,” read the second paragraph of the e-mail.

Last Wednesday, Hamilton County consulted with parents and students through an online survey. The county created a graduation committee tasked with adjusting county schools’ traditional events to the times of the pandemic.

Now, Central’s graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020 will be held at the McKenzie Arena on June 28 at 2:30 p.m. or at the Chattanooga Trade and Convention Ceter on July 28 at 4:00 p.m.

Although there is a possibility of the graduation’s venue changing, seniors are still expected to attend mandatory graduation practice the morning of graduation. More information about the time of graduation practiced will be released once the graduation date has been confirmed.

“… there is still much we do not know about how we will immerge from COVID-19 restrictions and what types of public gatherings will be allowed in June or July. However, please know that we are committed to doing everything possible to provide the graduation experience for the Class of 2020,” stated the county email.

Tennessee’s Board of Education also changed senior graduation requirememts for the 2019-2020 school year. The number of credit hours students must obtain has been reduced from 23 to 20 to make up for the time that students were not at school.

The breakdown of the aforementioned credit hours calls for four English and math credits, three science credits, two social studies credits, as well as 7 other credits.

Passing the civics exam and taking the ACT, or SAT, is not mandatory for this year’s seniors, either.

The grades that students obtained at the end of the third quarter, on March 16, will not decrease, as they will become final grades. On the other hand, one can continue to improve  their GPA through completimg online coursework that has been assigned by their teachers.

Honors and dual enrollment students will recieve additionally weighted grades, as they could not complete their cumulative exams.

End of course (EOC), International Baccalaureate (IB), ACT, and statewide dual credit challenge exams are cancelled, However, there is an upcoming ACT test on June 13, and students in  local dual enrollment classes must still comply with their college’s course requirements.

AP exams will still be held online, so students can access free study materials as well as test dates via the CollegeBoard’s website.

Regardless of how the 2019-2020 school year closes out in regard to graduation ceremonies,  the county wants to ensure that students are recognized for all their hard work while also keeping them from spreading or being exposed to the Coronavirus.