Late last week, the Ohio Department of Education released guidance regarding how school districts should plan to conduct graduation and other recognition ceremonies for students. Districts across the state of Ohio have been instructed to hold virtual or alternate recognition for students in response to Governor DeWine’s direction.
Specifically, the state has indicated that “School leaders should conduct graduation ceremonies and other recognition events in a remote manner that honors each student in a safe and responsible way, prioritizing the health needs of students, their families, and the community.”
While changing graduation to an alternative plan is not anyone’s first choice for the Class of 2020, the Pike-Delta-York Local School District continues to make decisions based on the direction of the state with student health and safety in mind.
District administration has worked diligently to create a plan that both honors our graduates and their accomplishments while maintaining social distancing/promoting health and safety according to state guidelines.
The Delta High School graduation ceremony will take place on the originally planned date, May 28, 2020. The event will begin at Delta High School with a police escorted caravan of seniors and their families around the Village of Delta. Seniors are encouraged to decorate their vehicle for the caravan. The caravan will end at The Field of Dreams Drive-In located in Liberty Center, Ohio. Once all cars are parked, a prerecorded presentation with audio will be played on the large drive-in screen. Due to the limited number of parking spots, each graduate will be limited to two vehicles of family members. All observers will be required to remain in their vehicles to maintain and promote social distancing at all times.
Prior to the graduation celebration, all students in the Class of 2020 will be photographed in cap and gown. These photos will be incorporated into the video presentation that will also include some of the traditional graduation ceremony components such as student performances, class speakers, and recognition of students’ honors.
Having a graduation ceremony that is meaningful to honor our Class of 2020 is a priority of the District. The District has worked with numerous governmental agencies and health departments to plan this celebration. While there are many ideas of how our students should be honored, a limited number of options are true possibilities.
This ceremony to honor our graduates is believed to be a nice compromise between the traditional ceremony and no ceremony, while most importantly keeping our students’ and families health in the forefront during the COVID-19 pandemic.
More specific details will be shared from Delta High School principal, Mrs. Kristie Reighard, in the near future.