Douglas County Schools looking to move graduations outdoors to increase family attendance

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) — The Douglas County Board of Education is looking into moving indoor graduations outdoors to allow more tickets for each graduate. 

Current plans call for just two guests per senior at indoor graduations this spring, including at ThunderRidge High School.

A district spokesperson says those plans have not been finalized and could change based on where the district falls on the state’s COVID dial next month. 

Currently, graduations are scheduled for May 17-27, with some taking place indoors and some taking place outdoors.

“It’s very sad,” said Dana Dodd, who has a senior at Rock Canyon High School. “There’s still a ton of time to figure this out. Even if we could go to the immediate family plus a grandma or a grandpa or something, it would make a huge difference.”

Dodd’s son is currently set to graduate May 20 at Magness Arena. She says her family members have already started making plans to visit Colorado for the graduation.

“We have four kids total, so that of course means that none of the kids get to go,” she said.

“We’re going to Nuggets games, we’re going to Avalanche games, why can’t we go to a graduation?” asked Heather Sivey. 

Sivey’s son is a senior at ThunderRidge, where two guests will also be tentatively allowed for a graduation ceremony at Magness Arena. 

“All those cords that he’d be wearing and showing off and taking pictures with his friends and getting to see his family in the stands he’s like, why did I work so hard? For nothing.”

Sivey attended a Tuesday night board meeting and is asking the district to consider moving the graduation outside.

“We’re not asking for something that’s unrealistic or not safe,” she said. “We’re asking for people to be able to make a choice to watch their children walk at graduation with their immediate family. It’s the right thing to do, and people need to stand up for what’s right.”

Tuesday night, a district spokesperson told FOX31 they will look to move all graduations outdoors to allow for more tickets for each graduate. 

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