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story.lead_photo.caption A graduate from Jefferson City High School holds his diploma after walking off stage during the commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 12, 2019, at Adkins Stadium. Photo by Jenna Kieser / News Tribune.

After postponing several times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Jefferson City School District has determined an official graduation date.

Jefferson City High School's graduation commencement will be at 7 p.m. July 31 at Adkins Stadium, with an inclement weather makeup date of Aug. 1.

In late April, the district announced the high school's original graduation date had been tentatively rescheduled for June 12. Due to social distancing guidelines, it was later postponed to June 10 then to July 31.

In surveys sent to JC Schools families, students and parents overwhelmingly said they wanted a single in-person graduation ceremony.

"While current social-distancing guidelines allow us to proceed, we will be taking extra precautions in planning and executing the event," JCHS Principal Bob James said in a letter Thursday to senior families.

There will be extra seating to allow for social distancing, there will be a livestream of the ceremony for those unable to attend, movement and contact will be limited (contact while awarding the diplomas will be minimized and award winners will be recognized in their seats), the time will be reduced, and diplomas and other awards will be distributed from the high school's main office the week after the ceremony to eliminate the need to gather after the ceremony, James wrote in his letter.

Graduates can invite as many guests as they would like, and social distancing is the responsibility of each attendee, James wrote in a letter answering frequently asked questions. The dress code remains the same, and graduates will walk the stage and pause for a photo like usual.

There may be a graduation practice, but details have not yet been determined, James wrote.

Although prom was canceled due to social-distancing guidelines, the district is continuing to plan for the National Honor Society induction, awards night, special services graduation and baccalaureate, James said in the letter.

The NHS Induction Ceremony is scheduled July 28, awards night July 29, special services graduation July 30 and baccalaureate July 26. These events will be held at the JCHS main gym. Baccalaureate will be at noon, and the other events will be at 7 p.m.

"Our hope and intent is to have adapted ceremonies for each; more details will be available as we draw nearer the dates," James wrote in the letter. "We are looking forward to celebrating with you and share in your disappointment regarding the delay."

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