Blue Ridge Early College Graduation Ceremony set for Aug. 7

Blue Ridge Early College has scheduled the Graduation Ceremony for Aug. 7 to honor the Class of 2020. BREC Principle Tracie Metz said it’s important to recognize the students for their achievements.

“While education is a life-long process, the first thirteen years are pivotal to a student’s growth and development,” said Metz. “Along that process of growth, we have built in celebrations and traditions. Graduation is the culmination of these events. It’s important to honor this tradition, even if the format and time may look a little different. Our families are pivotal to the accomplishment of these goals and our students treasure these mentors in their lives! Every student deserves the recognition of a job well done!”

August 7 was selected for two reasons. Many BREC students may be temporarily leaving the area for post high school plans and Metz said she hopes to have a Senior Celebration/Prom and Graduation weekend event that will be unique and special for students. She said it gives students a chance to re-unite, have fun, and wish everyone well in the next stage of life.

Secondly, many students will also receive their Associates Degree from Southwestern Community College. SCC graduation ceremony is August 8, so BREC’s graduation won’t conflict with SCC graduation date and time.

This is a tentative date and is subject to change.

“Because student safety is always our top priority, all events are subject to change per the orders from Governor Roy Cooper,” said Metz. “We will continue to follow all recommendations from the Health Director. We will monitor this and adjust as able.”

Metz said Jackson County Public Schools were open to all ideas that would benefit senior students and have several ways they plan to recognize Seniors (following current social distancing orders) throughout the month of May.

She added that the entire Blue Ridge staff misses the students dearly and are raising the bar to stay connected.

“We miss our students,” said Metz. “However, we have discovered new ways to connect and to engage them in learning. Our teachers have excelled in their instructional delivery by using so many different formats. We will do what it takes to meet the needs of the students. We are focused on student progress. There are a variety of ways that students can show us they are learning and this process has just opened the doors to even more ways we can adapt instruction in the future. Our parents are pretty incredible too! We do not expect ‘school’ to look like ‘school’ at home. We need it to work for them and we are here to modify, re-adjust, and re-align as needed.”

Metz said in terms of grading this school year, the decisions were made by the North Carolina State Board of Education. Jackson County Public Schools updated their procedures to reflect the state policy.

Remote instruction continues through the month of May. Blue Ridge leadership are working on unique ways to close out the year by May 29. Metz said the community’s response to remote instruction has been outstanding.

“What a community! When COVID-19 created an altered plan for how we live in our daily lives, it was an overwhelming inspiration to see our Glenville-Cashiers Community unite in such a positive manner,” said Metz. “Our team misses our students! We enjoy being a part of their daily lives, hearing their new ideas, watching them problem-solve issues, cheering them on in athletics and more. We have amazing families who have jumped in to care for their families and to provide stability in an ever-changing environment. The lesson that I am encouraged for our students to learn is the power of community, resiliency, and kindness.”

Blue Ridge Early College graduation is on Aug. 7 at 6:30 p.m. at Blue Ridge Early College.

BREC Graduation practice will be held between Aug. 5 and Aug. 6 with exact dates and times to be shared once they are finalized.

BREC Senior Celebration/Prom will potentially be rescheduled between Aug. 6 and Aug. 8 pending location approval.

All dates are tentative based on COVID-19 status, CDC, and Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive orders for the month of August.

Cap and Gown news will be shared soon.

Article and photo by Brian O’Shea
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