Through the graduation survey data we learned that students and parents wanted their graduate to be able to walk across the graduation stage rather than participate in a virtual ceremony. We also learned that the students wanted to graduate as an entire class rather than be split into smaller groups.
Right now we are living in a world where we are required to wear PPE or personal protection equipment and maintain social distancing. School districts have to abide by more stringent rules including regular hand-sanitizing and taking temperatures of adults and students before they enter a room together.
So how do we pull off a graduation?
Several planning meetings have taken place over the last several weeks encompassing a large number of government agencies. I am happy to announce that we have an approved plan for a graduation ceremony.
There are several OHS graduates leaving to report for military duty immediately following the end of the school year. Unfortunately we have had to delay the ceremony from the original date of graduation.
But- For only one day!
The Class of 2020 will be graduating next Saturday, May 30 at 9:00 AM at the Okeechobee County Agri-Civic Center.
We are ecstatic to be able to provide our seniors with a ceremony culminating the end of their educational career with the Okeechobee County School District.
The ceremony will be open to senior graduates only, and the event will be live streamed through two platforms, Facebook Live on the Okeechobee High School Facebook Page and through YouTube Live.
There are extensive safety guidelines that will govern every step of the process from the time the students enter the property until they leave. These guidelines have been printed and will be placed in the bags that will be available to be picked up tomorrow, Thursday, May 21 in the OHS bus circle between 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM. I have also emailed them to all senior students and parents who have their email address in Skyward. In addition, an instructional video will be posted in the coming days before the event. A sincere commitment to planning, implementing, and enforcing these safety guidelines is what ultimately led to an approved plan to move forward. Students must comply with the safety guidelines or they will be escorted from the property.
The graduation ceremony is a voluntary event. Students are not required to participate. If you are not comfortable with the plans that have been set in place or if you have or live with someone who has an underlying health condition that makes you more vulnerable, you have the authority and discretion to not attend.
Our ultimate goal is to keep our students and their families safe!
Congratulations Class of 2020!
You have certainly shown your ability to Persevere!
Do not forget that tomorrow is the designated day to drop off your Chromebook, textbooks, library books, and anything else that is owned by the school. At that time you will be filling out your announcement card for the graduation stage and exchange it (through a no-contact system) for your cap and gowns!
If you ordered your cap and gown late (that is any time after the Dec 17 deadline) we do not yet have your gown. At this time we are missing 78 gowns. Jostens has been in constant communication and we anticipate having those gowns in time for the ceremony.
You are almost there! 24 hours away from the end of your high school career. All assignments are due tomorrow by 11:59 PM. Get it done. Make it count. Finish strong.
I am grinning from ear to ear while I promise to “see you soon!”