TWINSBURG – Local high school seniors, as of now, will still have commencement on the same day. But just in case, another day also has been reserved as a backup.
Superintendent Kathryn Powers said in a March 18 message to district families that graduation ceremonies are still planned for May 31 at EJ Thomas Hall at The University of Akron. However, the district has secured two additional dates – June 28 and July 12 – just in case.
"The final determination of a date for commencement will be made once we are fully aware of the outcome of this current health crisis, but regardless, we are determined that our Class of 2020 will have the opportunity to cross the stage and to celebrate in the tradition of our school district," Powers said.
The date for senior prom, Powers added, has been pushed back from May 8 to May 29. It is still scheduled to take place at Signature of Solon.
In news that might not make the district’s school athletes happy, Powers said that the Ohio High School Athletic Association has ordered that all public and private schools lock up athletic facilities. She added that this will happen starting Thursday.
"Tiger Stadium and the tennis courts located across from the Twinsburg Community Pool will be locked," Powers sad. "I truly apologize for this action, as I realize the importance of staying active during this school closure. However, we must do all that we can do to mitigate COVID-19. Thanks for your understanding."
Powers said that Twinsburg students taking classes through the Cuyahoga Valley Career Center should have been notified about their assignments.
David Mangas, superintendent of Cuyahoga Valley Career Center, stated in a March 17 notice posted online that CVCC is preparing for four weeks of electronic instruction.
"These lessons, for specifically assigned students, range from Heating & Air Conditioning performing Occupational Safety and Health Administration online certification to our Machining Technology students enrolling in Tooling U, the leading provider of manufacturing training solutions," Mangas said. "After the four-weeks of lessons, instructors will decide if additional online assignments would benefit their students. We know online activities do not substitute for our students actively engaged in our labs with hands-on equipment."
In addition, CVCC will make sure seniors have the lab time they need "to earn their certificates or licenses, at no additional cost to our families," Mangas said. "Options include extending lab times into the summer months, providing full scholarships to enroll in our Adult Education courses, or partnering with one of our local Community Colleges to provide instruction."
"We are preparing for the most extreme scenarios while at the same time hoping this outbreak passes quickly," Mangas said. "Whatever the outcome, CVCC is committed to doing what is right for our students. Our hearts ache, as we envision the impact this outbreak will have on our local businesses and industry partners as well as our students, their families and our communities. Know that our Emergency Operations Team will be meeting regularly throughout the closure to review information and continue to create plans that will ensure each student has the opportunity to realize the competitive advantage their program offers."
Powers said that she was confident the district’s students and families will pull through.
"Change is not a bad thing, it just makes you realign priorities and determine how to complete tasks in new ways," Powers said. "I know our students and our staff members are making adjustments, too. No worries, we will all get through this together."
Reporter April Helms can be reached at 330-541-9423, email@example.com, or @AprilKHelms_RPC