Metro Detroit school districts push for vaccinations ahead of graduation

Southfield and Troy public schools finding ways to hold the ceremony in a safe way, officials say

Metro Detroit school districts push for vaccinations ahead of graduation
Metro Detroit school districts push for vaccinations ahead of graduation

Many people look forward to the big day -- graduation. But things are going to be different this year, especially for the seniors in the Troy and Southfield public school districts.

“For the second consecutive year, districts are grappling with how to keep our children safe during the pandemic while celebrating this major milestone in their lives,” said Southfield superintendent Jennifer Martin-Green.

With graduation just a few days away, the Southfield Public School District is taking the ultimate step to make sure the class of 2021 remains safe.

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“We have decided to partner with Ascension MyHeath Urgent here to go the extra mile and provide our students an opportunity to receive the Pfizer vaccine,” Martin-Green said.

Ascension MyHealth Urgent Care is closing to the public on two separate days so Southfield seniors will have the chance to get vaccinated before crossing the stage. Martin-Green said although the vaccination isn’t required, their district is hoping to have a safe ceremony with a special incentive for the graduating class.

“Anyone receiving the full vaccination, as evidenced by their CDC health guard, will receive a complimentary ticket to the prom as our gift to them for doing this,” she said.

In Troy, the school district will be having their graduation at the the DTE Energy Music Theatre in the Village of Clarkston.

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“Under the pavilion, they had a large number of seats, so it’s going to provide us an opportunity to have all of our graduates out there spaced accordingly -- 3 feet,” said Rich Machesky, superintendent of Troy School District.

Family and friends will be distanced 6 feet apart in the crowd.

“We believe based on those numbers, we can comfortably accommodate our graduates as well as a number of family members there to support those individuals,” Machesky said. “The traditional handshake may not take place, but it’s going to be a great opportunity to watch those students across the stage get that diploma.”

There will be a special town hall for Southfield graduating students on May 4 to have Ascension nurses address any concerns that they may have.