The Minnesota Department of Education, Office of Higher Education and Minnesota Department of Health recently released guidance for schools regarding graduation ceremonies. This guidance was developed jointly between the three departments and outlines some of the specific activities that schools should and should not do.
“The health and safety of our students and their families will always be our top priority,” said Mary Cathryn Ricker, education commissioner. “This year’s graduation ceremonies will look different than they traditionally do, and I am confident our schools will find creative ways to recognize the incredible work and commitment of our graduating students. The Class of 2020 persisted in their education through this unprecedented and uncertain time with a school experience that was difficult to navigate. I am proud of these students. I am inspired by these students, and I congratulate them on never giving up and reaching this major milestone.”
The top recommendation is for schools to hold a ceremony that can be conducted remotely and ensure attendees do not need to leave their homes, such as a virtual ceremony.
While the guidelines do not allow for a gymnasium or football field gathering, it does provide public health guidance on what schools, colleges or universities would need to consider when contemplating a safe celebration outside of the home, such as a car parade or a parking lot ceremony.
The Redwood Valley High School graduation ceremony is being held May 31 at 1 p.m. in the school parking lot.
In a letter addressed to members of the RVHS senior class and their families dated May 8, Rick Jorgenson, RVHS principal, wrote while the specifics of the May 31 ceremony will be announced at a later date, the basic plan would be that each household will be attending the ceremony in a separate vehicle with their graduating senior, and that vehicles will be parked six feet apart.
Carpooling will not be allowed. Participants will not be able to walk to the ceremony and will not be getting out of their vehicles during the ceremony.
The staff, added Jorgenson, is working to make this a special and memorable occasion for the seniors.
Plans are subject to change and added details will follow.