Chicago Public Schools will allow schools to hold in-person graduation ceremonies with capacity limits this year as schools and the city navigate a return to some activities amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the district said Wednesday.
"As we look for ways to honor our graduates after what's been a very difficult year, the district developed a plan to celebrate graduates while ensuring the safety of each school community," CPS' Chief Schools Officer Bogdana Chkoumbova said during a virtual meeting of the Chicago Board of Education.
"Schools will have the opportunity to hold indoor, outdoor and virtual events where students can receive their diplomas and take pictures in their caps and gowns," she added.
Chkoumbova presented two options allowed under CPS' guidelines: social events where mingling may occur and seated spectator events.
For social events, held at venues like ballroom, banquets and restaurants, indoor events can have 50% capacity with no more than 50 people while outdoor events can have 50% capacity with no more than 100 people, she said.
For seated spectator events that are ticketed without mingling, Chkoumbova said indoor events can also have 50% capacity with no more than 50 people.
Outdoor venues with capacity of less than 200 can have 50% capacity with no more than 50 people and outdoor venues with capacity over 200 can have 25% capacity.
The district said school principals have received "detailed information" on both capacity limits as well as health and safety guidelines that must be followed for these events.
"Parents of soon-to-be graduates should be on the lookout for information from their specific school," Chkoumbova said.