BROOKSVILLE — High school seniors and their parents had been anxiously waiting to hear about the fate of graduations.

On April 30, the Hernando School District tried to give them peace of mind by rolling out its plans for graduations and commencement ceremonies, which it still plans to hold in late July.

“Because commencement is such an important milestone for students and families, we have taken great care in deciding how best to create a memorable experience for the Class of 2020,” Superintendent John Stratton wrote in a letter to families. “This graduating class has lost out on several key senior events and we cannot match the disappointment of missing spring sports, prom and Grad Bash but we hope to do everything we can to send you off with our congratulations and well wishes for a happy and healthy future.” 

Therefore, the district announced that on May 15 at 8:20 p.m., each high school will conduct a drive through senior “roll.” Each principal has chosen a route through the neighborhood surrounding the school, so parents, friends, staff and members of the community can wave and offer their congratulations as grads drive by. Maps of the route will be posted to the school website. 

In late May, Senior Clearance will begin and, at that time, each graduate will be provided with a professionally designed yard sign to display their academic accomplishment. Seniors will also have a professional photo taken in their cap and gown. The photo will be used in a virtual graduation if necessary. 

The district says it still plans to hold traditional commencement ceremonies in late July. 

“The results of the senior survey indicate that seniors, their families and our staff parents overwhelmingly prefer a traditional ceremony,” a press release stated. “We will move forward with plans to do so keeping in mind we have the virtual contingency option, should the virus continue to be a threat to public safety.” 

New high school graduation dates:

• Nature Coast Technical High School: Wednesday, July 29, 8 p.m. (rain date July 30, 9 a.m., also the school).

• F.W. Springstead High School: Thursday July 30, 8 p.m. (rain date July 31, 9 a.m. at SHS).

• Central High School: Friday, July 31, 7:30 p.m., at Grace World Church

• Weeki Wachee High School: Saturday, Aug. 1, 3 p.m., at Grace World Church

• Hernando High School: Saturday, Aug. 1, 7:30 p.m., at Grace World Church