CCS superintendent announces plan for virtual graduation

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I am pleased to share with you that we will celebrate our seniors’ academic achievements with a virtual graduation ceremony. They have worked hard to earn their high school diploma, and Columbus City Schools is ready to honor their achievements.

Driving our decision to hold virtual graduation ceremonies during this global pandemic was doing everything we possibly can to keep each of our students, their families, our staff, and our community safe from COVID-19. Developing the right graduation plan during this unprecedented time has always been about balancing safety with our desire to celebrate your graduation appropriately. A virtual graduation ceremony for the class of 2020 does that.

Here’s the plan:

Cap and Gown Pick-up: Seniors will pick up their caps and gowns from their respective high schools after June 1, on a staggered schedule developed by each building administrator. Social distancing guidelines will be strictly enforced. Seniors will be required to stay in their cars during their designated pick-up time. Families without a vehicle will be directed to a safe waiting area for pick-up. Students will also turn in electronic devices, equipment or uniforms.

Senior Fee: The board of education has waived the $70 senior fee for students in the class of 2020. The decision is aimed at avoiding an additional burden to seniors who are already enduring a stressful end to the academic year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Families who have already paid the fee will receive information on how to obtain a refund.
Submit Senior Photo: Seniors are asked to submit a photo of themselves dressed in their cap and gown to be shown during the virtual ceremonies. Student ID photos will be used if a student does not submit a photo.

Virtual Graduation: Virtual graduation ceremonies will take place during the week of June 22-27. Each high school’s virtual graduation ceremony will be streamed live on the Columbus City Schools Facebook page and YouTube channel, aired on the Columbus Educational Access channel, and also simulcast on WCBE 90.5 FM.

Ceremonies: Our 19 high schools will have a special nationally-renowned commencement speaker, short remarks from me, your principal, and each school’s valedictorian or chosen student speaker, along with reading the names of each graduating senior.

Share Best Wishes: We encourage everyone to share their photos, words of encouragement, and congratulatory messages on social media using the hashtag “CCSGrad2020.”

Additional Graduation Details Online: All your graduation information including cap and gown pick up, completer ceremonies and summer graduation will be shared by your principal and can be found online at ccsoh.us/classof2020.

Your teachers, principals, families, and the Columbus community are proud of you and your accomplishments. I trust that every senior, dressed in their cap and gown, will navigate through these graduation activities just as you have since this unprecedented health crisis began.

Dr. Talisa Dixon
Superintendent, Columbus City Schools

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