JONESBORO — The Clayton County Board of Education has approved changes to this school year’s academic calendar.

The adjustment is due to the need to extend graduation ceremonies from two to three days, according to Ralph Simpson, deputy superintendent.

The last day of school will be Thursday, May 21, 2020 instead of Friday, May 22, 2020. To accommodate the change, March 16 will become an instructional day instead of a staff development day. Additionally, the last three days of school will become early release days for high school students.

Students will still have 180 instructional days and 190-day employees will have no change in the number of work days.

Board of Education Chair Jessie Goree said she was glad for the change.

“It was brutal having only two days last year,” she said at the board’s work session. “Please don’t ever try to do a two-day anymore. This senior citizen can’t handle it.”

Though the number of graduation days will change, the district will continue to hold exercises at the Georgia International Convention Center. Clayton schools has used GICC since 2017. Before that, ceremonies were held at the Georgia Dome, which was demolished in 2017 to make way for the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The estimated cost for the 2020 commencement ceremonies is $466,100 with the majority of the monies being spent on rental of the facility and use of its technical equipment.


The Clayton County Board of Education is expected to vote on changing the last day of school and expanding the district’s graduation ceremonies from two to three days.

To see the school calendars visit

Education reporter Heather Middleton joined the Clayton News and Henry Herald in 2002.

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