Graduation plans are approved for New Hanover County Schools

County Commissioner Woody White upset with the vote

NHCS graduation decision

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - The New Hanover County Board of Education tonight finalized graduation plans for students in traditional and non-traditional schools.

The board heard recommendations from a pair of task forces that looked at options that follow the state and federal guidelines established to prevent the spread of COVID-19. They also looked at options popular with students, families and the public.

The task forces recommended staying away from virtual graduations, favoring more in-person ceremonies.

The groups favored what are called drive-in and drive-through options for the traditional high schools, and drive-in, drive-through and in-person options for the non-traditional schools.

No more than ten people are to be present at any one time indoors and no more than 25 people can gather at any one time for outdoor graduations.

Traditional high schools include Laney, Ashley, New Hanover and Hoggard; non-traditional high schools include Isaac Bear Early College, Wilmington Early College and Career Readiness Academy at Mosley.

The drive-in models feature students and families driving to a location; guests will be limited to the number of people that can fit safely into the vehicle. Students will be allowed to walk across a stage in front of the venue, seen by those in attendance, with audio heard through the vehicle’s radio.

The drive-through option is similar, but with fewer graduates driving to the venue at the same time, walking across a stage and receiving diplomas.

Individual schools can decide how to handle the specifics.

School Board member David Wortman floated another proposal to have a more traditional graduation for each school, held at the school’s football stadiums, limiting the guests to two per student, and mandating all students and guests wear masks.

That option failed by a 4-3 vote with Wortman, Bill Rivenbark and Jeannette Nichols supporting it.

County Commissioner Woody White posted on Facebook not long after tonight’s vote, upset with the vote against Wortman’s option:

All graduations will happen no later than June 19th.

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