Algonquin hopes to hold July 30th Graduation gathering

Above: It looks like ARHS’ Class of 2020 may have need for to combine their caps and masks after all. (images cropped from ebay and the facemask fundraising page)

Over the weekend, Algonquin Regional High School’s administration announced that they are making plans to gather graduates for a ceremony this summer. The hoped-for late July, outdoor graduation will depend on the weather and the state of the pandemic.

On Friday, I posted that some ARHS students and families had been petitioning for a late summer graduation. They were disappointed to learn that the school was sticking with its plans for a ceremony only allowing one graduate at a time on an empty stage with only two cars of family members as the audience. Not even a drive by parade would be allowed. Instead, the school would target a late fall celebration as a gathering for the Class of 2020.

On Sunday, the school shared an update on “additional celebratory events”. It included big news, outlined under “Phase 6”:

We will hold an outdoor graduation on Thursday, July 30, 2020 (rain date Friday, July 31, 2020) starting at 6:00 pm for seniors to come together in a full class graduate march in, individual recognition, a second turning of the tassel and the opportunity to cheer for peers!

The new announcement states that the June 7th “Awarding of the Diplomas” will still be held. The July event is less certain. The news of the event came with the warning:

Please know that although we have received permission to move forward with this event it can only take place if public health requirements allow and with public health restrictions.

The same caveat applies to the late fall celebration, still planned but now moved to Phase 7 for celebrating seniors.

On Sunday, ARHS Principal Sara Pragluski Walsh emailed me a message that included:

the ARHS admin are so excited to share the opportunity to expand some of our events. Up until now we had very clear directives that we could not hold some of the events that wanted to. Our senior steering committee and team did amazing work with the very difficult constraints. With a little more leeway we have added some additional items.

She shared that earlier that morning, she had sent an announcement to ARHS families, following a message to students and faculty. The update was introduced:

We are ecstatic to be able to offer some additional celebratory events in addition to the many events that have already occurred and have already been planned. Thank you in advance to the many faculty who are participating in stuffing senior swag bags this week and for those who can participate in our senior class T-Hawk Tribute Faculty Farewell this Thursday! Thank you to the many parents who coordinated with peers and students to sign up for the awarding of diplomas in which we can distribute diplomas to students in groups with their friends!

Click here to read the full announcement that was attached.

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