Individual graduation ceremonies to take place late May

On May 15, ICCSD senior students and their families received information about plans for individual graduation ceremonies.


Natalie Dunlap

The district is going to hold individual ceremonies at each high school for the class of 2020.

Natalie Dunlap, Online Editor-in-Chief

After weeks of uncertainty, a graduation plan is taking form. Today, May 15, seniors and their families received an email from the district around noon. In the message, Director of Community Relations Krisitin Pedersen announced that this year’s ceremonies will be conducted “in a series of in-person, individual ceremonies at each high school.” 

During the virtual senior recognition ceremony the night before, on May 14, Principal Gregg Shoutlz concluded the Zoom by telling students that they should expect to put something on their calendar on May 28, 29, or 30. As Pedersen’s email went on to explain, those are the days these individual ceremonies will take place. 

“This will allow us to limit the number of students present at one time, while providing the opportunity for each graduate to wear their cap and gown, walk across the stage to receive their diploma, and have a professional picture taken,” Pedersen said. “This also allows for families to be a part of this individual ceremony with their students.” 

This evening, Shoultz sent more specific information to West High parents. He explained that this graduation will have two parts: receiving the diploma in person and an online video that includes photos from the in-person ceremony and speeches. The video will include each graduates’ name and honors, as well. The email also included a SignUp Genius link where students and their families can schedule their private ceremony time. The small, in-person graduations will take place in the Arganbright Auditorium on Thursday, May 28 and Friday, May 29 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., and on Saturday, May 30 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Five families can sign up in each fifteen minute slot. 

Before their graduation ceremony, students will also be able to pay outstanding fees, collect honors, cords and metals and pick up a cap and gown if they haven’t already. 

Both the district and West are encouraging students to take safety precautions by wearing personal protective equipment. Additionally, there will be no hand shakes, hugs or photos with faculty. 

In an email sent out on May 1, the district expressed a hope for a more traditional graduation for the class of 2020 in the months to come. In this latest email Pedersen said, “We are hopeful that conditions will evolve in the months ahead, including the easing of public gathering restrictions, that will allow us to hold a special graduation reception for seniors and their families at a later date. However, until that option becomes available, we look forward to making these individual ceremonies as meaningful as possible for our graduates.”