Graduation ceremonies for most Polk high schools are moving back indoors this year after they were held at Joker Marchant Stadium last year as a coronavirus precaution. Seating will be limited and safety precautions are planned, according to Polk County Public Schools.

Ceremonies for all of the traditional high schools in Lakeland will be held at the RP Funding Center. (See a schedule below.)

Each graduating senior will be issued four tickets for family members or friends. All ceremonies will be live streamed on the school district’s YouTube channel for viewing by those who are unable or unwilling to attend.

The following coronavirus precautions will be implemented, according to a Polk County Public Schools news release:

  • Graduates will receive four tickets each for family members or guests. Limiting the number of guests and assigning seats will help ensure social distancing.
  • There will be assigned check-in times to prevent crowds forming to get into the graduation venues.
  • Temperature screenings and security checks will be conducted as individuals enter.
  • Everyone will be required to wear face coverings, including graduates.
  • Graduates will be socially distanced during the ceremony.
  • There will be no handshakes.
  • Ceremonies will be condensed to approximately one hour to limit exposure.
  • Graduates, guests and staff members are being reminded that graduation ceremonies are not mandatory. Anyone who does not feel safe should not attend.

Graduation schedule for Lakeland schools

Times and places for all public school graduations in Polk can be found online. The schedule for Lakeland schools:

  • Doris Sanders, Jean O’Dell, Karen Siegel: May 8, 10 a.m., Lake Region High Auditorium
  • East Area Adult,West Area Adult: June 2, 6:30 p.m., Auburndale High Auditorium
  • Fresh Start – Lakeland: May 24, 3 p.m. Branscomb Auditorium at FSC
  • George W. Jenkins Senior High: May 25, 3 p.m. RP Funding Center
  • Harrison School for the Arts: May 26, 3 p.m. RP Funding Center
  • Kathleen Senior High: May 22, noon, RP Funding Center
  • Lake Gibson Senior High: May 25, noon, RP Funding Center
  • Lakeland Senior High: May 26, 7 p.m. RP Funding Center
  • Polk Virtual & Polk Grad Academy: May 27, 2 p.m., RP Funding Center
  • Tenoroc High School: May 26, noon, RP Funding Center
  • Traviss Technical College: May 26, 6 p.m., Veteran’s Stadium, George Jenkins High

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Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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