More Butler County high schools push graduations into summer due to coronavirus

The number of area high schools postponing commencement ceremonies until the summer continues to grow, with more likely to come.

Madison Schools officials released a statement Saturday saying “with the coronavirus pandemic occurring, our original graduation date of Friday, May 22, may be in jeopardy if the governor extends the stay at home order, or if our local health authorities advise us to postpone the ceremony.”

Madison High School seniors now have tentative graduation dates of May 22, June 25 or July 30, all which would be held in the sports stadium of the school’s Madison Twp. campus.

Madison joins Lakota, Middletown and Fairfield in publicly announcing tentative graduation dates during the traditional school summer break.

All area postponements, said school officials, are dependent on what Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and state health officials order in the future.

“We recognize that our seniors are missing out on so many milestone events,” Fairfield High School Principal Bill Rice said. “We understand the loss they are feeling.”

“We’ve made it a priority to celebrate this rite of passage. We are hoping that we will be able to do this for our seniors with little to no change to planning,” Rice Fairfield High School Principal Bill Rice said.

Middletown often holds its high school graduation ceremony outside at Barnitz Stadium and will try to again, but this time in July.

Lakota’s two high schools — Lakota East and Lakota West — however, in recent years have held their commencements in Xavier University’s Cintas Center.

But Lakota officials this year are hoping to hold their events on campus in their respective sports stadiums.

“Our students have lost so much because of the mandated school closure,” said Gina Gentry-Fletcher, spokeswoman for the 10,000-student Fairfield Schools. “We want to make sure that they have an opportunity to celebrate as a class with a graduation ceremony. Our high school is not alone in wanting to fulfill this dream for seniors. Fairfield, along with other high schools across the state can only hope and wait for a positive outcome.”

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