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Madison City Schools cut graduating class in half, separate seniors to keep social distancing

A total of 470 students graduated and received their diplomas on Tuesday, but safety was on the minds of many people.

Posted: May 26, 2020 9:27 PM
Updated: May 26, 2020 10:42 PM

The Madison City Schools decided to take a very unique approach for the James Clemens High School graduation, splitting the senior class in half. 

They did it to reduce the potential exposure and spread of coronavirus by maintaining social distancing protocols.

A total of 470 students graduated and received their diplomas on Tuesday, but safety was on the minds of many people. Graduating students were given masks as they walked in and were required to wear them before the ceremony. They also did not shake hands when receiving diplomas.

"I'm just really excited to get all this over with, coronavirus has been a weird, final chapter to my childhood. So now that this is over, it feels like I'm really ready to start my adult life," Emo Furfori, a graduating senior, said. 

Furfori was with half of his graduating class, as he walked across the stage to close out his high school years on Tuesday. Students with last names starting with A-J went to the first ceremony. The last names that start with K-Z went to the second. Furfori didn't even know if he'd have any type of ceremony with his classmates at all.

"For a little while, I was unsure of what was even going to happen. As the days got closer, it seemed more and more likely we were actually going to have a ceremony," Furfori said. 

Many school districts across north Alabama are holding graduation ceremonies, but no two are the same, due to how they choose to handle coronavirus safety procedures.

Huntsville City Schools will have their graduation at the Von Braun Center, with a cleaning crew between ceremonies. Morgan County Schools had all 5 high schools graduate on the same day. Decatur City Schools screened visitors at the gate, and masks were required to enter. At Florence High School, guests could only sit on marked spots in the stadium.

Furfori is headed to the University of Alabama at Birmingham in the Fall. 

On Wednesday, the Bob Jones senior class will have its own graduation ceremony. The senior class will be split in half to keep social distancing.

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