Woodridge High School will have virtual commencement, baccalaureate and senior awards ceremonies, according to the school district’s leader.
District Superintendent Walter Davis said the Ohio Department of Education directed school districts to host virtual graduation ceremonies this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This certainly wasn’t my choice; it wasn’t our team’s choice," said Davis. "We prefer to do it in person at Blossom with everyone there."
Davis said May 15 is the day that seniors will turn in their textbooks and chromebooks, as well as pick up their caps and gowns, and other graduation items.
Davis said the video recording of the various components of the commencement ceremony will begin on May 19. At a scheduled time on May 19, 20 or 21, each senior will wear their cap and gown to the high school, bring their family, have their photos taken, and be videotaped walking across the auditorium stage to receive their diploma.
Davis said the proper amount of social distancing will be maintained between each graduate. Graduates will be allowed to bring their immediate family members to the recording. Students and family members are also being asked to practice social distancing and to wear a face mask. Students will be allowed to remove their masks when they walk across the stage.
Davis added that a video recording will also be made of both the baccalaureate and senior awards ceremonies.
The programs will be shown on the district’s website and YouTube channel under the following schedule: baccalaureate ceremony, May 29 at 7 p.m.; senior awards ceremony, June 5 at 7 p.m.; and commencement ceremony, June 12 at 7 p.m.
"Our hope is that families will get together around the computer screen or the TV and cast it on to their television," said Davis. "One of the neat things about this plan is that families will be able to keep that forever. They’ll have a tape of commencement and all those events."
Davis said the last day of online learning in the district will be May 15. The final days of the school year — May 18, 19 and 20 — will be used for locker clean-out, equipment and textbook turn-in at the elementary, middle and high school buildings for students in kindergarten through grade 11.
Davis said emails have been sent to seniors and their families.
For more information on the virtual senior ceremonies, visit the school district’s website at www.woodridge.k12.oh.us.
Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at 330-541-9421, email@example.com, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.