Altered high school graduations are being explored by school officials as their search continues for safe ways to host a ceremony, in whatever form possible.


Alachua County Public Schools families and students have been surveyed on when, and how, they would like to attend graduation for seniors hailing from the district’s seven high schools.


While in-person ceremonies have not been outright canceled, district officials said they must make preparations for the possibility that they could be, as typical graduation venues may not be available and CDC guidelines for social distancing during COVID-19 could limit attendance.


Superintendent Karen Clarke, however, has been firm about wanting to hold graduation in some shape or form.


Last week, families were asked whether they would prefer a ceremony later in the summer in the traditional venues, typically an arena on the University of Florida campus, or an earlier graduation on a district property.


Either way, officials said, many factors surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic will need to be considered.


“There are a lot of factors that will have to go into that decision,” said district spokeswoman Jackie Johnson. “Of course, the virus, the availability of the venues, CDC guidelines that may be in place, the state and local orders. There’s a lot of things we will have to consider.”


Johnson said in the meantime, the public can help recognize the class of 2020.


Between May 25 and June 5, when graduation typically occurs, the district is asking for the community to post signs, paint their cars, chalk a sidewalk or convey a positive sign in some way to graduating seniors.


“It would be wonderful if we could really blanket messages of support for the class of 2020,” Johnson said. “They’ve missed out on a lot, but we want them to know that their accomplishment is still recognized.”


The most creative message could be featured on the district’s social media page.