Elements in the plans have evolved for Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) high school graduations on May 28 through June 3 at Regency Furniture Stadium.
As of May 20, students will receive five guest tickets to graduation, along with two parking passes. One parking pass is for a space at the stadium, the other is for a spot at neighboring St. Charles High School. Guests are not permitted to park along the street or on the access road between the stadium and the school.
This being a school-sponsored event, guests must wear face masks when entering the stadium. Those who arrive without a mask will be given one at the gate. Once guests arrive at their seats, they may remove their masks or keep them on — depending on their comfort level. Social distancing is encouraged between groups of guests.
Graduates are asked to wear their masks during the processional until they reach their seat. While seated, they can remove their mask and do not have to wear it when walking to the stage to receive their diploma and have their picture taken.
Last year’s graduates were permitted to decorate their caps, and CCPS — at the request of the Class of 2021 — will carry on this new tradition. All decorated caps must be school-appropriate and staff will check caps prior to graduates marching onto the field. Schools will provide blank replacement caps if necessary.
Graduates are required to dress in business casual attire, which includes slacks and a button-down dress shirt, and/or a dress or skirt. Because of field conditions, which may result in uneven or soft ground, graduates are required to wear casual/flat shoes only. Any type of heel can be harmful to the stadium ground covering and will not be permitted.
The following is the graduation schedule. As in previous school years, all CCPS high school graduation ceremonies will stream live to the school system’s YouTube channel and at ccboe.com.
- Friday, May 28 – St. Charles High School, 9 a.m.
- Tuesday, June 1 – Westlake High School, 9 a.m.
- Tuesday, June 1 – Henry E. Lackey High School, 1 p.m.
- Wednesday, June 2 – Thomas Stone High School, 9 a.m.
- Wednesday, June 2 – La Plata High School, 1 p.m.
- Thursday, June 3 – Maurice J. McDonough High School, 9 a.m.
- Thursday, June 3 – North Point High School, 1 p.m.
Graduates should arrive at 7:30 a.m. for the 9 a.m. graduation ceremony and at 11:30 a.m. for the 1 p.m. ceremony. All graduates should be dropped off at the front entrance of St. Charles High School via Piney Church Road. Entrance to St. Charles via St. Linus Road is not permitted. Once families drop off their graduate, Charles County Sheriff’s officers will direct drivers to a parking lot — either at the school or at the stadium. Stadium doors will open for guest one hour before the ceremony.
Due to the ceremonies being held outdoors, CCPS staff will monitor the weather closely for possible inclement conditions. If bad weather causes a graduation to be postponed, graduates and their families will be informed approximately three hours before the ceremony is scheduled to begin. For the 9 a.m. graduation, if staff determines weather conditions require the cancellation of the ceremony, the school system’s Communications Department will alert parents via telephone call around 6:30 a.m., as well as through an email to the address on file with their child’s school. Parents of graduates should check their contact information on file with CCPS to ensure they receive this information.
Staff will monitor the weather throughout the day. If applicable, the decision to cancel the 1 p.m. graduation due to inclement conditions will be made by 10 a.m., three hours before the ceremony’s scheduled start. Any postposed ceremony will take place June 9 at the graduate’s school. Principals will provide more information and appointment times for graduates to report to the school, as necessary.
Schools will be closed on the day in which its senior class graduates. Students in Grades 9-11 will not have live or virtual instruction on the day when their school is closed.
- St. Charles High School is closed on May 28.
- Westlake and Henry E. Lackey high schools are closed on June 1.
- Thomas Stone and La Plata high schools are closed on June 2.
- Maurice J. McDonough and North Point high schools are closed on June 3.
CCPS has the approval of Charles County Health Officer Dr. Dianna Abney to host in-person graduation ceremonies at Regency Furniture Stadium. However, Dr. Abney has the authority to revoke her approval for CCPS to hold large gatherings based on COVID-19 related health conditions.