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Commencement Information May 18, 2020

May 18, 2020

Dear Parents, Guardians and Students,

The purpose of this communication is to clarify our process for commencement for our seniors. We have plans for an in-person graduation and a virtual graduation. The virtual graduation will take place regardless, and students will have the opportunity to have a photograph taken in their caps and gowns with their families.

Early in the COVID-19 crisis, we postponed our graduation ceremony until July 16, 2020. The reason we chose this date in July was to give us the best chance for an “in-person” graduation ceremony. According to Pennsylvania’s current yellow phase restrictions, “large gatherings of more than 25 are prohibited.” The 25-person limit includes both indoor and outdoor spaces. We will continue to monitor social distancing guidelines and large-group gathering restrictions set forth by the state over the next month. Our main priority is to protect the health and well-being of our students and families.

In-Person Commencement

If restrictions for large-group gatherings and social distancing are lifted, and it is deemed safe for the well-being of all participants by the District, Commencement for the Class of 2020 will be held on July 16, 2020, 7:00 p.m.

Commencement Photos in Caps & Gowns & Virtual Ceremony

Regardless of whether there is an in-person ceremony or not, all seniors will have an opportunity between June 15 - 26 to have a professional photo taken to commemorate their graduation. These dates are expanded from what was sent this morning. Each senior will walk across the stage and have a photo and video taken to be included in a virtual ceremony. The graduate will be photographed with up to 10 family members. Separately, the graduate will have the opportunity to participate in two quick videos--the turning of the tassel and the tossing of their cap into the air in celebration. These videos will then be edited and merged to create the virtual commencement ceremony. If you are unable to attend during the established window, please contact the High School Main Office through Mrs. Holley at jmholley@southfayette.org. Students will be contacted to reserve their time slot for commencement photos and videos in the next two weeks..

Caps and Gowns Distribution

As a reminder, high school faculty, staff, and administrators will deliver caps and gowns and other materials, as well as senior gifts, to residences this Wednesday, May 20, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. If there is no one home to answer the door, we will leave the package on the doorstep in a bag.

Baccalaureate

Baccalaureate will be a fully virtual ceremony this year. Inspirational talks from student speakers and guest speakers have been recorded. This virtual ceremony is currently being compiled and will be sent out to the community when completed.

We will continue to communicate with our students and families about commencement and end-of-year arrangements. We understand the challenges that the Class of 2020 has faced, and our hearts are with them.

Be safe and well.

Sincerely,

Dr. Ken Lockette, Superintendent of Schools