Briarwood sets in-person graduation for July 19

By SCOTT MIMS / Staff Writer

NORTH SHELBY — The 143 members of Briarwood Christian School’s Class of 2020 will get to celebrate in person as the school has planned its graduation ceremony for July 19 at 3 p.m. in the worship center.

Since in-person worship services at Briarwood Presbyterian resumed on Sunday, May 17, it gave school officials an idea of what graduation will be like, said Dr. Shawn Brower, head of the Upper School.

Brower counted nearly 400 in attendance, with every third row roped off and family units largely confined to their own rows. At the conclusion of the service, people were encouraged to observe social distancing as they departed the premises.

“Four hundred looked quite sparse in there, and that’s not even touching the balcony,” Brower said. “I think we probably could have done social distancing with twice that number.”

He said the worship services were well organized and the social distancing plan was well carried out Sunday. In total, there were three 1-hour services spaced 30 minutes apart. While school officials hope that some restrictions can be eased by the time graduation is held, it is too early to know for sure.

“I do not know if any of those parameters are going to be loosened,” said Brower, who has one child in the graduating class and another graduating from college.

He advises graduates to let their final school year be defined, not by coronavirus, but by the relationships, community, memories and activities they have enjoyed together.

“One of the things in particular about young people is they are resilient,” Brower said. “They’re going to land on their feet, no doubt about it.”

For updates, check the school’s Facebook page or its website, Briarwoodchristianschool.org.