7 Jacksonville high schools reschedule graduations due to weather concerns

Seven Jacksonville-area high schools rescheduled graduation ceremonies due to poor weather conditions expected Thursday and Friday.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Seven Jacksonville-area high schools rescheduled graduation ceremonies due to poor weather conditions expected Thursday and Friday.

RELATED | Latest forecast from News4Jax

The outdoor graduations scheduled for 6 p.m. on those days were moved to 9 a.m., Duval County Public Schools announced Wednesday.

The dates and locations of the graduations have not changed, only the time. Here is the updated schedule, with links to livestreams for each graduation.

Thursday, June 3 (rescheduled for 9 a.m. in school’s outdoor stadium)

Friday, June 4 (rescheduled for 9 a.m. in school’s outdoor stadium)

The schedule for Frank H. Peterson was not impacted. It remains scheduled for Thursday, June 3 at 7 p.m. at the Times-Union Moran Theater. (Livestream link here)

Graduates should plan to arrive at the school at 8 a.m. for the 9 a.m. ceremonies.

Mandarin High School parent Rachel Ledesma said at Thursday’s rescheduled ceremony that it was a long time coming -- even with the scramble after the time change.

“I think this year especially has been just such a long year with COVID and everything, and the students missed out on a lot of activities and things, so we’re really excited we get to do this in person and be here at the high school today,” Ledesma said.

There was a special moment during the Mandarin High ceremony for track star and JROTC member Joshua Woodcock, who died two years ago in a car crash. His mother accepted his honorary diploma.

News4Jax spoke with students and parents Wednesday who were not happy with the last-minute changes, saying it prevents family members who are traveling from seeing their students graduate.

“It’s not fair for the children. It’s not fair for the parents. It’s not fair for the family members that are coming in town,” said Lakisia Hunt, a parent.

“I’d rather risk the rain,” said Alisia Hunt, a Mandarin High School senior and Lakisia Hunt’s daughter. “I want to walk across the stage.”

John Parkins said his dad canceled his flight from New Jersey because he won’t make it time to see him graduate.

“He’s been talking about it for like two weeks straight,” Parkins said. “We could have rescheduled it for another day.”

A statement from a spokesperson for DCPS reads: “We certainly regret any inconvenience this change causes our graduates and their families. Trying to be adaptable to weather in the pandemic-era is difficult, and we sympathize with families for any hardships caused.”

News4Jax checked with the St. Johns County School District. A spokesperson said the district is not planning to postpose graduations to be held on Thursday and Friday at TIAA Bank Field but it is continuing to monitor the weather.

About the Authors:

Corley Peel is a Texas native and Texas Tech graduate who covered big stories in Joplin, Missouri, Tulsa, Oklahoma and Jacksonville, Florida before returning to the Lone Star State. When not reporting, Corley enjoys hot yoga, Tech Football, and finding the best tacos in town.

Joy Purdy co-anchors the 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. newscasts with Tarik Minor and the 11 p.m. weeknight newscasts with Kent Justice.