Graduation ceremonies for the Waconia High School Class of 2020 are taking the shape of a virtual/prerecorded commencement. The date will be Sunday, June 7.
That follows recent guidance from the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), which essentially bans large-scale and stadium style graduation ceremonies to limit the spread of COVID-19.
The Waconia School District had been considering a social distancing style outdoor graduation ceremony at the high school stadium, but was nixed by the latest guidance. Instead, the district will push out a link to seniors, parents, and the general public at noon on June 7 for a ceremony that will include a welcome, speeches, recognition of scholarship winners, National Honor Society members and honor students, and a tribute video, according to WHS Principal Mark Fredericksen.
Caps and gowns will be distributed next Wednesday, May 27, at a drive-in event at the high school designed as a fun event for seniors only, and will follow protocols that have been established by the MDE.
High school administrators also are working on a plan for a car processional following commencement that would give parents and the public a chance to recognize the class. Details and refinements around that event were still coming together as of early this week.
Fredericksen notes that much of the guidance and directives the district has received from the state have been, and remain, limiting and restrictive.
“We are doing all we can and will continue to find ways to honor the Class of 2020,” he said.
One district-wide initiative that began this week and continues through the end of the school year is a “We stand with you” campaign for the Class of 2020. During the campaign, May 18-28, members of the community are asked to display purple and gold ribbons, signs lights and other creative senior class recognition greetings outside their homes and businesses.