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ODE Graduation Ceremony Statement

The Ohio Department of Education has been fielding several questions about graduation ceremonies and other end-of-year recognition ceremonies for students. Educators, students and parents are questioning whether they should attempt to hold in-person events of this nature.

 

 

ODE Graduation Ceremony Statement

 

Yesterday, the Dept. of Education put out a statement regarding graduation ceremonies. Below is the link:

 

http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Student-Supports/Coronavirus/Graduation-and-Recognition-Ceremonies

 

 

Graduation Ceremony Statement

Graduation and other end-of-year recognition ceremonies

The Ohio Department of Education has been fielding several questions about graduation ceremonies and other end-of-year recognition ceremonies for students. Educators, students and parents are questioning whether they should attempt to hold in-person events of this nature. While we understand the significance, tradition and rites of passage many of these events represent, particularly for our seniors, schools should hold events virtually rather than conducting in-person events of this type, and record these events whenever possible and practicable. Congregate graduation ceremonies should not be held. Additionally, we recommend holding a virtual or alternate recognition on the original intended graduation date or a date very close to that date.

 

Governor DeWine, during his press conference on Monday, April 20, stated,

"the gathering of significant numbers of people is a dangerous situation. Just as schools have been innovative in regard to how to teach from a distance, I know that they will be innovative as they look at how...they honor the students..."

We are asking the education community to come together and honor our students, especially our seniors, in a manner that doesn't pose health risks to anyone. Schools should continue to recognize the importance of restrictions on mass gatherings, and events should be aligned with the Ohio Department of Health's Order.

 

Hosting in-person events can lead to many other negative consequences, including the following:

  • With each change of venue and/or calendar delay (July or later graduation ceremony), there is no guarantee that large gatherings will be permitted, and there is a risk of fewer students actually participating due to other life plans such as beginning employment, attending college, military enlistment, etc.
  • In-person events add to the complexity of asking students to comply with social distancing, as these events often are highly emotional, invoking natural physical responses (such as high fives and hugs).
  • In-person events, even if only for participants, can lead to other people (family members, relatives, friends) wanting to physically attend, even though not permitted to do so.
  • Pressure is unintentionally put on other high schools (principals, superintendents and board members) that have chosen to conduct events virtually rather than in person.

Therefore, school leaders should conduct graduation ceremonies and other recognition events in a remote manner that honors each student in a safe and responsible way, prioritizing the health needs of students, their families and the community.

 

Upcoming Events
Hooked on Fishing… Not On Drugs Youth Fishing Derby July 18, 2020 Jul 18, 2020 07:30 AM - 01:00 PM — Perry County Gun Club - 4957 Township Rd 149, New Lexington, OH 43764
Shawnee Sunday Summer Concert with Chris Logsdon | July 19, 2020 Jul 19, 2020 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM — Historic Main Street - Shawnee, OH 43782
Blood Drive New Straitsville United Methodist Church Tuesday, July 21, 2020 Jul 21, 2020 01:00 PM - 07:00 PM — New Straitsville United Methodist Church - 101 Clark St, New Straitsville, OH 43766
Blood Drive Somerset American Legion Post 58, Tuesday, July 21, 2020 Jul 21, 2020 01:00 PM - 07:00 PM — American Legion Post 58 - 107 East Gay St, Somerset, OH 43783
Perry County Chamber of Commerce 28th Annual Golf Shootout Saturday, August 1, 2020 Aug 01, 2020 08:00 AM - 02:00 PM — Whitetail Ridge Golf Course - 14005 Thorn Twp Rd 21, Thornville, OH 43076
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