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2020 Graduation Information

May 11, 2020


To Seniors and Families at Cedar Ridge, Orange High and Partnership Academy:  

I am so proud of our seniors. They have shown grace and strength in a very challenging time. And it is only right that we find the best possible way to celebrate their graduation this year, despite difficult and unexpected circumstances. 

I’m pleased to share that we have guidance from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NC DPI) on how we can approach graduation and are now planning our official ceremonies.

As a mother and grandmother, I understand how important this milestone is to each of you--the families and students receiving this message. We are hard at work to ensure any ceremony will honor our seniors’ academic excellence and celebrate their accomplishments. We are doing our best to make this experience the best it can be while also adhering to COVID-19 safety requirements per NC DPI and the recommendations from our local health department and law enforcement experts who have been engaged in the planning process. The team planning for graduation ceremonies in the district includes all high school principals; central office staff, including representatives from our Equity Department and Office of Safety and Health; the Orange County Health Department; and, the Orange County Sheriff's Office. I am also part of the planning team. 

Given NC DPI’s guidance, the planning team selected two graduation celebrations. The first graduation celebration will be via drive-in/drive-through held at each school or the Orange County Speedway. At this time, a drive-in/drive-through graduation celebration is the safest way to offer a graduation for all high schools in Orange County Schools. However, unlike when students picked up their caps and gowns, students will exit their cars and walk across a stage to receive their diplomas. The entire event will be very festive with a lot of well-deserved pomp and circumstance, and graduates will be recorded receiving diplomas. We also hope to live-stream the entire drive-in/drive-through graduation ceremony. The second graduation celebration will be more traditional in nature and held at a later time when it is absolutely safe to do so.  

At this time, I am asking you to hold the following dates to celebrate our seniors:

  • Partnership Academy--June 11
  • Orange High--June 12
  • Cedar Ridge--June 13 

As plans continue to unfold, you can expect to hear from your school’s principal to gather input on the ceremony.

I will be back in touch by next week to let you know how our plans are coming along. 

Here’s to Orange County Schools Class of 2020!

Dr. Monique Felder