WEST JORDAN, Utah – Plans for graduation ceremonies to honor the class of 2020 while still practicing social distancing are coming into focus.
At Tuesday’s meeting of the Jordan School Board, members unanimously approved a plan for three separate events.
Instead of an in-person event, ceremonies for each individual school in the district will be held virtually and broadcast on YouTube. The program will include speeches, choir performances and a reading of the names of each graduate. Those virtual ceremonies will take place on the originally scheduled graduation date.
The following day, each school will hold a stay-in-you-car parade that ends at the campus where the graduate attends school. There, diplomas will be given through car windows.
The final event will take place after social distancing restrictions are lifted to allow for large gatherings. When it is deemed safe to do so, schools will be tasked with setting up in-person events to honor graduating seniors. Examples include a senior dinner or yearbook party.
“Nobody has ever done this before,” said Brad Sorensen, a high school administrator with the Jordan School District.
Sorensen presented this plan to the school board. Members gave the idea positive feedback and authorized the go-ahead to work with a production company to start planning the ceremonies.
“It certainly has been a lot of conversation and discussion,” Sorensen said. “We realize the cards that we have been dealt and we are going to try to make lemonade out of lemons.”
The Jordan School District received feedback from more than 3-thousand surveys completed by parents and students. They hope to make this experience as close to a normal graduation as possible.
The Salt Lake City School District discussed graduation at its Tuesday meeting but did not emerge with a plan as detailed as the one approved by the Jordan District.
Board members for Salt Lake schools voted in support of postponing in-person ceremonies to a “later time.” They also signaled support for each school’s efforts to safely honor the class of 2020 this spring.