MOULTRIE, Ga. — Coronavirus continues to take a toll on cherished annual events.
The Colquitt County School System announced Wednesday that Colquitt County High’s graduation ceremony has been postponed until sometime this summer.
Graduation was scheduled for May 23 at Mack Tharpe Stadium.
“Current guidelines in place and health concerns for students, faculty, and families have led to the cancellation of graduation on May 23rd,” county School Superintendent Doug Howell said in an email to The Observer. “Graduation will be held at a later date during the summer when it is safe to do so. The plan will be to hold a full-scale graduation at Mack Tharpe Stadium on a date to be announced later.”
However, students have already ordered graduation supplies. Herff Jones representatives will distribute those supplies — including caps, gowns and the stoles and cords for honor and merit graduates — from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday, May 5, at the high school.
Students should bring their ID.
Students will stay in their cars and drive through the car drop-off/pick-up line, and Herff Jones representatives will hand the senior supplies through the car window.
Anyone who still owes money for senior supplies should contact Herff Jones at www.highschool.herffjones.com or (229) 382-6837, or pay with cash or money order on the date of pickup.
Also canceled by coronavirus was Colquitt County’s Migrant Education Program.
The session was originally scheduled for June 1-19, but continued concerns about the health of both students and faculty have prompted the school system to cancel it for this year, the system said in a press release.
The Colquitt County Migrant Education Program — the largest migrant education program in the state — typically funds a three-week summer school for migrant children 3-years old through fifth grade, according to the county schools website.
More than 400 children across the county are eligible, and about 320 enroll and attend at least one day. Transportation is provided. Students receive breakfast and lunch.
The focus of the summer school is writing, the website said. All students are given a pre-test and then after at least 12 days of instruction the students are given a post-test. The goal is that at least 85% of the students with both a pre- and post-test will demonstrate at least a 5% increase in their score.
The young children are assessed on their developmental level – the early stages of writing are drawing, adding details, labelling, and being able to tell about the topic. Older students are expected to write sentences, follow a logical sequence, develop paragraphs, and have appropriate grammar. All students study a topic – they have a speaker come to visit their class, have books on the topic, and teacher-designed activities on the topic.
Each grade has one certified teacher who teaches a daily lesson to all the students in the grade. There are also two or three paraprofessionals per grade who conduct activities with the students who are not with the teacher for the lesson.
Students in grades 6-12 are invited to attend a two-week “writer’s workshop” where they are presented with essential skills for success in writing.
All is not lost, however. The school system’s expansion of online learning will carry over into summer learning opportunities, the system said in a press release earlier this week.
“The Colquitt County School System will capitalize on the system’s online learning opportunities provided to students since the March 13, 2020 school closures due to COVID-19 through a similar online summer program of enrichment in English Language Arts and mathematics in grades PK-8,” the release said.
Students will be able to access lessons and resources provided by Colquitt County teachers twice a week (one lesson in English Language Arts, one lesson in mathematics) through July 3. All lessons will be posted and housed on the district’s website; families can extend learning to different grade levels as needed by choosing a variety of links.
More than 1,800 lessons have been produced and recorded during the time schools have been closed, and they’ll also be available for 24/7 access throughout the summer, the school system said.
Students in grades 9-12 in need of credit repair will continue to have access to the online content in order to accrue credits as well. C.A. Gray Junior High School and Colquitt County High School will provide information via the schools’ websites for students to sign up and/or continue online credit repair through July 3.
During the month of July, Willie J. Williams Middle School, C.A. Gray Junior High School and Colquitt County High School will provide links to virtual experiences and information geared toward a smooth transition to each school for rising sixth, eighth, and 10th graders. These resources will be provided through each school’s website and social media accounts, the school system said.