TALLMADGE – High school seniors waiting for news on graduation received some answers April 29, after Tallmadge School District Superintendent Jeff Ferguson posted updates on the district’s website April 29.
Graduation will not take place at EJ Thomas Hall on July 1, Ferguson said, and there will be no prom this year.
"Although we know this will disappoint not only our students, but our community, we believe this is the best course of action to keep the health and safety of our students and families a top priority," Ferguson said.
Gov. Mike DeWine said that Ohio educators must ensure social distancing during any and all graduation ceremonies. The governor also stressed that any graduation parties cannot exceed 10 people in one space.
The Ohio Department of Education and Ohio Department of Health recently issued the following suggestions for local schools and health departments, including virtual graduation ceremonies, which are preferred; drive-in ceremonies, where students drive to a designated location at a designated time to get their diplomas; and outdoor ceremonies with 10 people or less who are socially distanced
Additional guidance can be found on the Ohio Department of Education's website.
The goal for the school district is to provide memorable events to help celebrate the seniors’ final year as a Tallmadge student, Ferguson said.
"While we are saddened that we will not be able to celebrate the Class of 2020 in a traditional send-off, we will host a number of events," Ferguson said.
Details will be sent to seniors and their parents in the near future, Ferguson said.
Commencement and awarding of diplomas will take place May 18, 20 and 21 with times to be announced.
"Our top priority is the safety and well-being of our students. With that said, we plan to honor our seniors by graduating students ‘individually’," Ferguson said.
Each senior, along with family members, will be able to enter the stadium for their individual graduation, he said. Students will have the opportunity to walk the field in their cap and gown, receive their diploma and be cheered on by their family in a safe setting. This will be professionally videoed, and every graduate will receive a complimentary photo.
Senior Video can be seen on May 21 at Midway Drive-in in Ravenna. Details on the screening of the Tallmadge commencement video will be communicated after the details are finalized.
The Senior Promenade will be on May 22. Seniors will be invited to drive-up to a promenade for individual pictures at created photo areas. More details will follow for this event.
The Graduation Parade will be on May 27 at 6 p.m. The graduating senior class will have a special parade around town. Families and community members are encouraged to show their support by waving and cheering on the seniors from their sidewalk. More information on the parade route details will follow.
A virtual Senior Breakfast will be on May 29 at 9 a.m.
Viewers will be able to watch live as the school district presents all of the senior awards and private scholarships. How to watch will be communicated closer to the event.
"We understand that not having a traditional graduation and senior events is a disappointment to all of us," Ferguson said. "However, it is very important that we recognize the Class of 2020 for their hard work, dedication, and accomplishments. We are very proud of these young men and women for what they have meant to our school and community."
More information and updates are available at www.tallmadgeschools.org online.