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The graduation ceremonies for James Clemens and Bob Jones will be held at the Madison City Stadium due to COVID-19 limitations.

Madison City Schools to hold high school graduations today and tomorrow

MADISON – Hundreds of James Clemens High School seniors will receive their diplomas today. Madison City Schools is holding graduations starting today for James Clemens and Bob Jones High School at Madison City Stadium.

MCS spokesperson John Peck said the size of the graduating classes (approximately 470 JC and 430 BJ) will necessitate that graduations each day be split into two programs in order to maintain social distancing.

Each school will have a 4 p.m. and a 7:30 p.m. graduation ceremony with the session assignments decided alphabetically. (A-J and K-Z for James Clemens and A-K and L-Z for Bob Jones).

Less than two weeks ago, interim superintendent Eric Terrell announced the May 26 and May 27 graduation dates, along with location change from the Von Braun Center, in a community-wide Messenger sent May 14.

Ceremonies originally set for May 18 at the VBC were tentatively rescheduled to June 29 by the COVID-19 shutdown of the VBC. The rescheduled date for June 29 was never a certainty with the potential a health order could keep the VBC arena closed.

The change from the Von Braun Center gives better assurance the graduations can be held and allows schools more control over the program.

“While the VBC has accommodated our graduation sizes well in the past, COVID-19 posed restrictions limiting graduate seating to 242,” Peck said.  “That would have meant a split program as well, with added time between each for VBC staff to clear and disinfect the arena.”

All attendees are encouraged to wear a mask until seated. Graduating seniors are being furnished a mask for required use until the program start.

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