LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Seniors in the class of 2020 will get to walk the stage at graduation in Hardin County wearing full cap and gown.
But they will do it alone.
With COVID-19 making large scale gatherings impossible, the Hardin County School district plans to host individual graduation ceremonies for each senior.
"They're trying to give us some kind of experience, and I like that a lot," Central Hardin High School senior Raegan Reynolds said. "They're trying to still give us something, but it does stink that it's not the same thing."
Students will hear their names and walk the stage. The school system plans to tape the footage and then edit it all together to broadcast as one event for each high school.
Superintendent Teresa Morgan challenged seniors to see themselves as pioneers in a new frontier rather than victims of their circumstances.
"You can look at this as something that was ripped away from you, or you can look at this as you were the first class to brace these uncharted waters and having a virtual graduation," Morgan said.
Each student will be limited to six guests. The ceremonies will take place on the football field of each school, and the full edited graduation ceremony will air on HCEC, the district's community access television channel.
"We're twins, so we can have six family members watch me, and six family members watch her," Raegan's brother Brady Reynolds said. "So I think it's pretty good it worked out."
The district still hopes to do full in-person ceremonies in the fall, but if that can't happen, Morgan is asking students to keep perspective.
"You can look at it that you were gypped out of graduation, or you can really look at it as you saved some lives by not getting 8,000 people together," she said.
This virtual graduation is no small undertaking. Between Central Hardin, John Hardin and North Hardin High Schools, there are approximately 1,000 graduates.
Individual students will be contacted by school staff to set up their individual ceremonies.
Morgan said students will not be handed a diploma. Instead, they will pick it up off a table as they complete their walk, and unlike a traditional commencement ceremony, only the school principal and the announcer will be on stage.
"We will literally only let one or two cars through the gate at a time ... The people can get out and film that, and they will leave before the next car comes in." Morgan said. "We just really want to be safe with this whole experience."
Below is the current graduation schedule for Hardin County Schools:
Central Hardin High School: May 4, May 5 and May 6 (if necessary)
John Hardin High School: May 7 and 8
North Hardin High School: May 7, 8 and 9
Hardin County High School / GED: May 9 at Central Hardin
The edited graduation ceremonies will air as follows on HCEC-TV (Comcast Channel 2, Brandenburg Telecom Channel 1 and 2, Spectrum Channel 184) and on HCEC-TV's YouTube Channel:
John Hardin High School: May 22 at 7 p.m.
Central Hardin High School: May 23 at 11 a.m.
North Hardin High School: May 23 at 7 p.m.
Hardin County High School / GED: May 20 at 6 p.m.
Copyright 2020 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.