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After a lengthy discussion, the Concordia Parish School Board voted unanimously to set graduation dates for the week of July 13-17 for four high schools including Concordia Parish Academy, Ferriday High, Monterey High and Vidalia High.

That action came during a special meeting via Zoom Tuesday night.

Superintendent Whest Shirley said the type of ceremony would depend on “what phase we are in Louisiana's Roadmap to reopening” as the state continues to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said if a traditional ceremony is not allowed under the governor's plan by July 13 that schools will have a "virtual" graduation ceremony.

Shirley had offered the board three options to consider before it was decided to set the dates and wait for more information before finalizing plans.

In a message to the board, Shirley said 2020 “has been an unprecedented year to say the least. There have been several challenges that we are continuing to work through. The most challenging issue at the moment is planning a graduation ceremony for each school’s Senior Class of 2020.”

He said that following the May 15, 2020, Phase 1 guidelines, a committee made up of principals, directors, students, and parents developed various options on how to hold the ceremonies.

Options included locations, setting up designated spaces for families and students, social distancing, and various other guidelines.

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