MOULTRIE, Ga. — Earlier this week, Colquitt County High School released guidelines for the in-person graduation that’s scheduled to take place July 18.

Colquitt County High’s Class of 2020 was initially scheduled to graduate May 23 at Mack Tharpe Stadium, but the ceremony was postponed as the state wrestled with the coronavirus pandemic. As cases appeared to ebb and states of emergency were relaxed, the Colquitt County School System rescheduled commencement for 8 a.m. July 18 at the stadium. 

The guide released June 29 combines rules common to the graduation ceremony with social distancing rules that have been in place elsewhere in response to the coronavirus.

Graduates will wear dark color dresses or a dress shirt with black pants, a black tie or bowtie, and dark dress shoes (no high heels). No scarves or headbands, no sunglasses and no writing on the graduation cap.

Graduates should be at the stadium by 7:15 a.m. Seniors should park on the south side of the WJW gym. Handicap parking will be in the spots designated at the WJW gym. Pick up your reader card outside of the Willie J. Williams Middle School cafeteria, then line up at the northeast side of the stadium.

During the ceremony, CCHS Principal Jamie Dixon will present each graduate with a program. Diplomas have already been distributed. In a virus-inspired break from tradition, Dixon won’t shake the graduates’ hands.

A photographer from BPI Photography will take a photo of each graduate with Dixon. Seniors will be provided a link to BPI’s images or a hard copy of the photograph if an email isn’t available. Any questions regarding photographs should be directed to BPI at (866) 363-6936.

Each graduate is entitled to six tickets for friends and family members. They can be picked up 10-11:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 14, and 4-5:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 15, in a drive-through environment in front of the high school. Students will need their student ID, driver’s license or other legal documentation to pick up the tickets.

Ticket issuing will be in color code. The color of a ticket will determine if the holder sits on the home or visitors side of the stadium. Home side tickets will enter the stadium through the South Gate. Visitors side tickets will enter through the visitors’ gate. Each guest must have a ticket to enter the stadium.

No balloons, signs or noisemakers are allowed in the stadium. Smoking isn’t allowed.

Social distancing guidelines will apply to all spectators; however, family members are encouraged to sit together.

Reserved seating will be limited to people with disabilities. The stadium can accommodate one person accompanying a person in a wheelchair.

Spectators are asked to remain seated throughout the ceremony.

The ceremony will be televised by CNS live and recorded by CCHS personnel. The video will be available for purchase.

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