ATTENTION: Families and Students of the Class of 2020 – Graduation Plans

To the Families and Students of the Class of 2020:

The COVID-19 pandemic is devastating in many ways. For our 2020 seniors, it means the loss of many important final moments. We want you to understand we recognize the importance of celebrating your accomplishments. This message is to help you understand our work to plan for commencement celebrations while still maintaining the safety and well-being of our students, staff, and families.

Each year our high school commencement hosts over a thousand people in one single space. Due to our current situation, we are unable to host a traditional ceremony. Our traditional commencement is canceled, but a graduation ceremony will be delivered on May 29, 2020 in a different format.

We feel very strongly that we must recognize our graduates on May 29, 2020 rather than attempting a postponement. Some students and families will have immediate plans that will take them on a new journey after our planned commencement date. This option allows all students and families to celebrate the closing of this momentous chapter together.

Our plan is to create a virtual graduation video. We would still like every senior to feel the honor of dressing up in a cap and gown and standing before friends and family in traditional commencement attire. Therefore, on May 29, 2020, we ask that you take the time to put on that cap and gown and take a selfie or pose with members of your immediate household family for a photo. Post your photos to Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram using #WHS5182020. Together, we will flood social media with our collective celebrations – just like you would on a traditional graduation day.

Our commencement video will be shared on our website, Facebook, and other social media sites at 5:30 p.m. on May 29, 2020. From the comfort and safety of your home, you may view the full-length commencement ceremony on your smart TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

While watching the ceremony, you will see and hear graduation music, speeches, and Trojan Advisors announcing each student’s name individually as a screen shows student photos and information. As the ceremony ends, we encourage students to throw that cap in the air and pat yourselves on the back. This moment signifies that you made it to your commencement day!

After watching the commencement video, we would like all seniors to report to the Prairie Elementary parking lot with their parents/guardians in their vehicle (one vehicle per graduate) at 7:00 pm. The Worthington Police and Fire Department will be escorting our graduates in a car parade around Lake Okabena and through town. We will be asking the community to come out and recognize our graduates as the processional proceeds through town. We ask that seniors and family members stay in the vehicles throughout the duration of the parade. Please watch for additional details concerning the car parade in the next few weeks.

Even though this will be a non-traditional Commencement, our goal is to make this evening special and memorable for your families.  Our Class of 2020 have continually shown their ability to overcome adversity, and your bright future will be evidence of your resilience.

Thank you for your continued grace, patience, and understanding. We look forward to celebrating the accomplishments of the class of 2020.

Josh Noble and Doug Brands
WHS Principal and Learning Center Principal

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