LIVINGSTON PARISH, La. (The Livingston Parish News) – After waiting more than a month longer than expected, Livingston Parish seniors are set to take their long-awaited walks across the stage.
Graduation ceremonies for all nine Livingston Parish high schools will officially get underway on Tuesday, June 23.
They will run through Thursday, July 2.
The Livingston Parish Public Schools system announced the graduation dates in late May, ending an unnerving period for seniors and their families that began when schools closed amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The graduation ceremonies will feature a mixture of indoor and outdoor ceremonies, with five of the nine ceremonies taking place inside the Walker High gym. Denham Springs, Walker, and Live Oak will hold ceremonies on their respective football fields, while Maurepas will hold its ceremony on campus inside the school’s gym.
Graduations for the Class of 2020 had been in flux since mid-March, when Gov. John Bel Edwards closed all school campuses statewide to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, which hit Louisiana harder than all but a handful of states in the initial outbreak.
Over the next nine or so weeks, school districts across Louisiana and the rest of the country scrambled to come up with ways to honor their seniors, who had the last two months of their high school careers ripped away because of the new disease. Some schools organized parades in honor of their seniors, while others placed signs and posters around town.
And while some graduation ceremonies were relegated to a virtual format, Livingston Parish seniors will get to enjoy the real thing.
Speaking to The News Monday afternoon, LPPS Superintendent Joe Murphy said graduations won’t be affected by Gov. John Bel Edwards’ decision to keep the state in Phase Two of reopening.
Phase Two allows for indoor gatherings of up to 50 percent of a building’s normal capacity.
When making its plans for graduation, the school system had already planned for 50-percent capacity. The only way graduations would’ve been affected is if Edwards had put the state back in Phase One, which only allows for 25-percent capacity.
“We’re moving forward with graduations,” Murphy said.
Murphy said the school system is encouraging people to wear masks, though it will not be required. He did say, however, that all LPPS employees will be wearing masks in adherence to guidance from the Louisiana Department of Health and the Center for Disease Control.
Ceremonies for Denham Springs, Live Oak, and Walker are scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. to lessen the expected “hot conditions for those in attendance,” Murphy said. Those schools have plans in place in case the weather dictates they be moved inside.
Albany, Springfield, Holden, Doyle, and French Settlement will have their ceremonies inside the Walker High gym, which has a capacity of 2,200, meaning 1,100 people will be allowed inside.
The Walker High gym is also equipped with live video broadcasting equipment that will allow each ceremony to be live-streamed on Walker High’s Facebook page, as well as broadcast in its entirety on local cable stations Channel 117 on Cox Cable and Channel 130 on EATEL Cable systems.
Below is a schedule of the upcoming graduations. More information can be obtained by contacting your school.
- Holden High: 6:30 p.m., June 23, Walker High gym
- Live Oak High: 8 p.m., June 23, Live Oak High stadium
- Maurepas High: 6:30 p.m., June 25, Maurepas High gym
- Denham Springs High: 8 p.m., June 26, Denham Springs High stadium
- Walker High: 8 p.m., June 28, Walker High stadium
- Springfield High: 6:30 p.m., June 29, Walker High gym
- Albany High: 6:30 p.m., June 30, Walker High gym
- Doyle High: 6:30 p.m., July 1, Walker High gym
- French Settlement High: 6:30 p.m., July 2, Walker High gym
David Gray | The News