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Message from the Superintendent: Virtual Graduations and Proms
Superintendent Dr. Terry OattsMay 22, 2020

Good evening RCPS Juniors and Seniors and families,

While we had every intention of moving forward with traditional prom and graduations, after careful consideration, I have decided that RCPS will not proceed with in-person ceremonies for prom or graduation. As both a former high school assistant principal and high school principal, I do not make this decision lightly. While this decision was difficult in many respects, the safety and well-being of our students and employees are the top priorities for the Rockdale County Board of Education and for me.

In arriving at this decision, I have taken into account a wide range of public health data to include the relatively high percentage of asymptomatic COVID-19 transmission, the analysis by public health officials that premature easing of mitigation measures could result in spikes in infections within the next month, and the logistical challenges of effectively achieving and enforcing social distancing among hundreds of graduates before, during, and after an in-person ceremony. While Rockdale County currently has one of the lowest COVID-19 infection and death rates in the metropolitan region, this is due largely to the decisive action taken by RCPS and our local governments to promptly respond to this public health crisis.

While I have determined that it would not be prudent to proceed with in-person ceremonies, I’ve directed our principals all along to plan for virtual prom and graduation ceremonies in the event that in-person ceremonies were not feasible. I am happy to share that such virtual ceremonies will proceed. School administrators will share more detailed information with students in the coming days.

Thanks for your understanding and support as we continue to prioritize the safety and well-being of our students and staff. I hope you have a safe and healthy Memorial Day weekend.

Dr. Terry O. Oatts, Ed.D.
Rockdale County Public Schools