Johnny Key

Commissioner of Education

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A Division of the Arkansas Department of Education

2020 Graduates

A Message to the Class of 2020 from ADE Secretary Johnny Key

Clinton School District’s Unique Graduation Plan

Schools across Arkansas are faced with important decisions regarding graduation plans. While some districts have chosen to delay in-person graduations until the risks associated with COVID-19 diminish, others are utilizing a combination of technology and innovation to hold memorable graduation ceremonies sooner while upholding social distancing best practices.   

Clinton School District in Clinton, Arkansas, is one such example. Seniors were given an individual graduation time when they were filmed walking across the district’s auditorium stage and receiving a diploma. A very small group of family members were invited to watch, and social distancing and health protocols were strictly enforced. A video editor is editing each video and compiling them into one graduation video, which will be shown on a large drive-in movie theater screen on May 18, 2020. A limited number of attendees will be allowed to watch the ceremony from their cars.  

“We understand that this is not what the graduates expected, but we wanted to give students as much of the traditional graduation experience as possible while maintaining a safe environment,” the district wrote in a message to the community. “This is a groundbreaking way of celebrating graduation. The Class of 2020 will be making history.” 


An Essay by a Member of the Class of 2020

As I walked out of my high school on March 14, I was looking forward to my spring break, senior prom, and graduation. I had no idea that it was my last day at De Queen High School, and I was completely unprepared for what was about to happen. I think I can speak for everyone who is a part of the class of 2020 when I say that this was not the senior year we were expecting....Read COVID-19, the Pandemic That Shut the World Down by Ashlyn Chambers.



A Special Message from Students: Thank You Teachers!

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