CMS increases guest limit for in-person graduations to four

CHARLOTTE — Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools announced earlier this month that it plans to hold in-person graduation ceremonies for the class of 2021.

The guest limit was initially set at two per each graduating senior but after the recent ease of COVID-19 restrictions across the state, the district announced Wednesday that it has increased that limit to four guests.

Ceremonies will be held at Bojangles Coliseum, Ovens Auditorium and the Charlotte Convention Center, officials said.

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After remote learning canceled events and having so many restrictions, it’s been a hard year for CMS students and parents, like Andria Taylor Rudisill.

“No prom, no real sports activity, none of the social interaction that you would have as being a senior,” she told Channel 9.

The ceremonies begin May 24 and run through June 5. Individual high schools will also hold school-based celebrations. A full list of graduation dates and times can be found here.

>> CLICK here for a full list of graduation dates and times.

All ceremonies will be livestreamed for remote viewing.

“As a parent, I would love to see my children perform and be recognized at their school. As a district, we are committed to us all being able to do this as soon as possible. We can’t risk moving backward at a time when our schools are developing a rhythm of in-person teaching and learning,” said CMS Superintendent Earnest Winston in a news release. “This course of action prioritizes the well-being of our students, enables them to experience celebrations and activities, while allowing our school personnel to responsibly manage operations at the school level.”

Last year, the district hosted virtual, pre-recorded graduations and drive-through ceremonies for seniors to pick up their diplomas.