Greenville County Schools explore options for graduation

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)–South Carolina is slowly reopening, but schools will remain on a digital platform at least for the rest of the year. Seniors in the class of 2020 are hoping for answers as far as graduation goes.

The last time Megan Gavigan was inside Blue Ridge High School was in mid-March.

“North Carolina had already closed down their schools, Georgia was already closed down, we just thought it was going to be soon but we just didn’t know when,” Gavigan said.

The final weeks of her senior year now spent at home.

“It’s been really hard. I just want to see everyone again and talk to everyone say my last goodbye and I feel like that’s been taken away from me,” Gavigan said.

The one thing she has left is the potential for an in person graduation.

“I will do anything to walk across that stage,” Gavigan said.

She’s open to any option.

“Whether it’s in an arena, a football field, right here walking across this driveway. Whatever works,” she said.

The Greenville County School District is trying to find out what those options could look like.

“Can it be done? And what would that look like? This is new for everybody,” director of media relations Tim Waller said.

One venue has already told the district it won’t happen. Leaders are now in talks with Bon Secours Wellness Arena, which hasn’t held an event since the SEC basketball tournament in early March.

“I know that they have concerns about how do we maintain social distancing with x number of people coming into that vary large venue,” Waller said.

The district put out a survey to seniors and their parents to explore options that line up with desires.

“Can we pull it off? Can we fashion something that is not only safe but satisfies that wish that so many people have,” Waller said.

The superintendent said in a board of trustees meeting, the consensus was clear. Both parents and students who responded want an in person graduation if possible.

“We have to make sure that this class of 2020 and their family members are safe,” Waller said.

And seniors like Gavigan are ready to make it happen no matter what guidelines they have to follow.

“Whether we have to be 6-feet apart, masks, gloves, it doesn’t matter. I want to walk across that stage and be recognized for my hard work,” Gavigan said.

The district is still working on ways to celebrate the seniors even if an in person graduation isn’t possible.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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