Cabot Public Schools Graduation Update – May 13, 2020

Posted on 05/13/2020

I'm Tony Thurman, proud superintendent of the Cabot School District.  

First and foremost, let me say congratulations to the Class of 2020!  

Not just in Cabot, Arkansas, but across our nation, schools must make difficult decisions regarding the Class of 2020. 

In our most recent update, the plan was to monitor state guidelines in hope of having a traditional ceremony in July.  As I've previously shared, that was sincerely my hope as not only the superintendent, but as the dad of a graduating senior.  

Trust me when I say we understand the enormity of this situation. It is disappointing, heart-breaking, and extremely frustrating for everyone involved. 

Unfortunately, neither the Arkansas Department of Health nor the Department of Education can provide any assurance as of this week that we could have a traditional, in-person graduation ceremony without abiding by required social distancing and health mandates including the use of masks by those attending, even in July.  Keep in mind that the concern with graduations is the fact that family and friends from across the nation would want to attend the event and that adds a whole new dynamic.  

With more than 750 graduates this year, Simmons Bank Arena is the venue in close proximity that can accommodate our needs. However, the arena is not scheduling graduations until social distancing requirements are significantly decreased or no longer required.  

Some schools are reserving Barton Coliseum, but it has less than half the capacity of Simmons Bank Arena and would not accommodate all of our graduates and families. I know that other districts across the state have reserved other venues for possible traditional graduations, but each and every one of those districts has been clear in the fact that there isn't any guarantee that the events will actually occur due to so much uncertainty.   

We also realize that many parents are anxious about making plans this summer. This may be the last opportunity to possibly take a vacation with your senior before they head off to college, the military, or vocational school.

Basically, the only thing that is certain as of now is uncertainty, and we have delayed a decision as long as possible, but the time has come. We know that our seniors and parents need answers.

Since we cannot set a definitive date for a traditional in-person graduation without any assurance that we would not have to make this a ticketed event with social distancing requirements and the use of masks, we are moving forward immediately with a virtual graduation ceremony.  

We have developed a great plan to celebrate our seniors in a very memorable way. Our virtual graduation ceremony will be broadcast on KATV Channel 7 on Saturday, May 30th from 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. This is definitely an exciting and unique opportunity to be able to celebrate the Class of 2020 with EVERYONE!

We encourage our seniors to dress in their cap and gown and to gather with family to celebrate and watch together.  Let's make this a great afternoon for our graduates and families!  We'd love for you to share pictures and videos with us by using the special hashtag #CabotClassof2020.

We are already working to create a very special ceremony for our students. For family and guests that may not receive Little Rock based Channel 7, the ceremony will premiere online simultaneously as well. Again, we will release those details soon.   

Now, I know that the official graduation picture taken during the diploma presentation is special, so we have a plan.  

When social distancing guidelines are relaxed at a later date and masks and/or gloves are NOT required, I assure you that the district will schedule multiple dates for seniors to be introduced as they walk across the stage at Cabot High School.  We'd like to have parents in attendance and graduates to have a portrait taken in cap and gown with their diploma being officially presented and it is our plan to video these presentations to broadcast on the Cabot Schools Network and our website.  

We are also honoring our graduates with a commemorative 48 page special section in the Arkansas Leader newspaper. It will include speeches from our valedictorian and salutatorians, as well as photographs and names of our graduating seniors. This will be a special keepsake for our seniors. Copies will be available for all students who do not already receive the newspaper. Our Cabot High School special graduation section is expected to be published Wednesday, May 27.

Now here are some other important dates for our seniors.

A drive-through senior item distribution will begin next week at Cabot High School.

Any CHS, ACE, and ACE North student who has returned all of their school items and paid all fees can pick up their diploma, cords, stoles, and other senior items on May 20-21, from 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m..

Since our buildings are closed to the public, please remain in your vehicle at all times; distribution will be drive-through only. Cars will enter campus off of Hwy 89 at the entrance closest to the field house and then be directed through CHAMPS Hall parking lot. Cars will then join the regular student pick up lanes that pass the front of the high school.

Please note, a student/parent is only allowed to pick up their own items. They will not be permitted to pick up items for another student. A photo ID will be required.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email a building administrator.

Finally...

We are extremely proud of each and every one of our seniors. 

Though we have no control over the situation caused by this pandemic, we do have control over how we react and in how we choose to celebrate our graduating seniors as they reach this milestone. To our seniors, we celebrate your accomplishments and know that though we are disappointed, we are most grateful that you are healthy, safe, and your best is yet to come. Remember that on Saturday, May 30th, from 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., on KATV Channel 7, your family, our proud community and the entire state will be celebrating you!  

Go Panthers!




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Cabot Public Schools

Elementary Schools (Grades PreK-4)

Central Elementary
36 Pond Street, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3564
Fax: (501) 843-4503
Eastside Elementary
17 Bellamy Street, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3563
Fax: (501) 843-5619
Magness Creek Elementary
16150 Arkansas Hwy 5, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3565
Fax: (501) 843-7567
Mountain Springs Elementary
3620 Mountain Springs
Road, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3575
Fax: (501) 605-1300
Northside Elementary
814 West Locust Street,
Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3568
Fax: (501) 843-6032
Southside Elementary
2600 South Pine Street, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3567
Fax: (501) 843-6229
Stagecoach Elementary
850 South Stagecoach Road,
Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3574
Fax: (501) 605-1221
Ward Central Elementary
1570 Wilson Loop Road,
Ward, AR 72176
(501) 743-3569
Fax: (501) 843-9744
Westside Elementary
1701 South Second Street, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3566
Fax: (501) 843-5802

High School (Grades 10-12)

Cabot High School
401 North Lincoln Street, Cabot, AR
(501) 843-3562
Fax: (501) 843-4231

Academic Center of Excellence
(Grades 7-12)

Academic Center of Excellence
21 Funtastic Drive, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3520
Fax: (501) 843-0283

Cabot Freshman Academy

Cabot Freshman Academy
18 Spirit Drive, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3576
Fax: (501) 941-1505

ACE North
(Grades 9-12)

401 North Lincoln, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3546
Fax: (501) 941-3156

Special Programs

404 North 2nd Street, Cabot, AR 72023
(501) 743-3543
Fax: (501) 941-2613

Cabot Learning Academy

Cabot Learning Academy
813 West Locust, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3540
Fax: (501) 843-3138

Central Administrative Office

602 North Lincoln Street, Cabot, AR 72023
(501) 843-3363
Fax: (501)843-0576

Middle Schools (Grades 5-6)

Cabot Middle School North
1900 North Lincoln Street, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3571
Fax: (501) 605-0413

Cabot Middle School South
2555 Kerr Station Road, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3570
Fax: (501) 941-7432

Junior High Schools
(Grades 7-8)

Cabot Junior High North
38 Spirit Drive, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3572
Fax: (501) 605-8472

Cabot Junior High South
38 Panther Trail, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3573
Fax: (501) 941-7746