Dear Class of 2020 and Parents/Guardians,
Congratulations, Seniors! You're on the cusp of achieving one of life's outstanding accomplishments. High school diplomas will soon be in-hand! You're kind of a big deal! With that said, we acknowledge that this is an unprecedented, uncertain, emotional, and bittersweet time. We are all adjusting to a new normal. The world has been turned upside down by a pandemic virus (COVID-19) which health officials warn is easily spread and may result in serious illness or death. Beloved rites of passage for the Class of 2020 have had to be canceled, postponed, or drastically modified to ensure public safety. We sincerely acknowledge the sense of loss many of you may be feeling as a result. It's okay to be a little sad and disappointed. We applaud, however, the valiant efforts you are making to remain optimistic and complete graduation requirements via remote learning.
The American poet, Maya Angelou, once said, "You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it." Angelou's wise words remind us of one of life's greatest lessons: Difficulties strengthen our ability to overcome. We believe in each of you and your ability to do difficult things. Keep your eyes on the prize. The best is yet to come!
We are in continual contact with state/local government and health officials, and it has become evident that we will not be able to safely facilitate traditional graduation ceremonies for our high schools on scheduled days/times in May. With a public health order in place discouraging non-essential travel, promoting the practice of physical distancing, and not allowing social/group gatherings greater than ten people, it has become necessary to create a modified graduation plan to celebrate the Class of 2020.
In a recent letter from Governor Gary Herbert to local school districts, he stated, "As the Class of 2020 prepares for one of the defining moments of any generation, high school graduation, it is up to all of us to ensure these students receive the recognition they have earned in as safe an environment as possible. We appreciate your efforts in planning for a virtual format, suspending formal ceremonies until it is deemed safe, or a combination of both. We acknowledge that you are working hard to make these decisions based on community safety, while trying to honor the students in a special way."
Here are the preliminary details associated with the WSD modified graduation plan:
Each high school will facilitate a Virtual (online) Graduation Ceremony for the Class of 2020 on Friday, May 29, 2020. Each event will be recorded and video streamed. A link to access the commencement program will be provided as we get closer to the specified date. Seniors, you will be invited to participate in your school's virtual ceremony in a meaningful and memorable way! More in-depth details will be forthcoming from each high school.
Schedule of Virtual Graduation Ceremonies on May 29th:
Weber Innovation High School
Two Rivers High School
Weber High School
Fremont High School
Roy High School
Bonneville High School
Officials at each high school plan to facilitate a "Class of 2020 Celebration" when protective mandates have been lifted and allow for large group gatherings. These events will likely take place outdoors, sometime in the late summer or early fall. Graduated seniors and parents will be invited back to the school to interact with each other, teachers, counselors, support staff members, coaches/advisors, and administrators and enjoy a celebration of this year's amazing Class of 2020.
It is very important to us that our district's seniors know that we are deeply saddened that we must modify the traditional graduation ceremony experience; however, we all acknowledge that the health and safety of each member of our community is the top priority. We will work very hard to creatively provide two, separate and meaningful events to honor the accomplishments and sacrifices of our seniors! We strongly believe that there will never be a graduating class like the Class of 2020. You're a special and gritty group, and you're showing us all how to courageously move through adversity. We are extremely proud of each of you! Keep moving forward!
All the best,
Gina Butters Executive Director of Secondary Schools
Clyde MooreSupervisor of Secondary Schools
Brock Mitchell - Principal, Bonneville High SchoolMichele Parry - Principal, Fremont High School Matt Williams - Principal, Roy High SchoolChris Earnest - Principal, Weber High School Nicole Meibos - Principal, Two Rivers High School Hal Raymond - Principal, Weber Innovation High School