Beginning July 13, Cobb schools will host in-person graduation ceremonies and allow each graduate four tickets for family to attend, Cobb schools Superintendent Chris Ragsdale says.

His announcement during a school board meeting on Thursday is a departure from a proposal earlier this year to hold graduation ceremonies that would only allow students and would be live streamed for others to watch. He said the new proposal still includes a live-stream option for those who don’t feel comfortable attending.

Ragsdale said a student-only graduation would have barely “checked a box,” and that the change comes after a relaxation of health officials’ guidelines in the state.

He said each of the 16 high schools in Cobb will host graduation at McEachern High School’s 9,000-seat stadium, and up to two ceremonies will be held per day — either at 9 a.m., 7:30 p.m. or both. He said attendees will still be socially distanced.

Ragsdale also noted there is construction happening around the school and asked families to be aware of traffic patterns as they attend the ceremonies. In response to board member concerns over a parking plan, Ragsdale said one would be worked up in time for the ceremonies.

The superintendent said more details will come in the following days for each individual school’s ceremony.

Meanwhile, Marietta schools Superintendent Grant Rivera announced in April that his single high school’s graduation ceremony will be held at 7:30 p.m. on July 24 at Northcutt Stadium.

“This community has a history of graduating at Northcutt Stadium, and that’s what we’re going to do, because that’s what they deserve,” Rivera said, adding that a social-distanced graduation ceremony scheduled sooner was also ruled out after considering that some family members may still face travel restrictions when they try to come from out of state or out of country to attend.

If by July 24, health officials say it’s still not safe to gather, the district will delay the ceremony, he said. But, he added, “We are doing an in-person graduation ceremony.”

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