The 2019 Port Charlotte High School Commencement was hosted at the Lee County Civic Center. Due to the coronavirus, this year’s ceremony will be held either in person on the Pirates’ football field or via virtual ceremony online.

Charlotte County’s high school graduation plans are still up in the air — but seniors’ caps may not be.

The school district is apparently waiting until the week of graduations to announce their decision to hold in-person graduation ceremonies or virtual ceremonies.

Live graduations are scheduled, but COVID-19 regulations may not allow for them to take place. 

“Plan A, which is live graduation ceremonies, comes with the assumption that the CDC and state relax their large group restrictions by the week of when those ceremonies are now planned,” said Mike Riley, spokesman for Charlotte County Public Schools. “If the CDC and state do not relax the large group restrictions by that week, then Plan B will be used which again, will be a Virtual Graduation Ceremony.”

The “Plan A” ceremonies are scheduled as follows:

• Port Charlotte High School: 9 a.m. July 14 on the PCHS football field.

• Charlotte Harbor Center: 6 p.m. July 14 at Charlotte Performing Arts Center.

• The Academy: 9 a.m. July 15 on the PCHS field.

• Charlotte Virtual High School: 6 p.m. July 15 at CPAC.

• Charlotte High School: 9 a.m. July 16 on the CHS football field.

• Lemon Bay High School: 9 a.m. July 17 on the LBHS football field.

July 18 will be used as a rain date for live graduation ceremonies.

The graduations will all follow the same format: graduates will be seated on the field and remain at least 6 feet apart in all directions while seated and three yards apart while in line.

Graduates will get two tickets per family member. Families will be seated in the home and visitor sections of the bleachers and will be spaced in accordance with CDC guidelines.

The ceremonies will be streamed live to accommodate family and friends who can’t attend.

On Friday, the principals of North Port, Venice High School and Pine View School announced that in-person graduation ceremonies have been canceled. Virtual ceremonies will be available for students and their families.


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