The Springfield City School District is on track to graduate its biggest estimated class in over 10 years -- but this year the ceremony will take seven days to complete instead of a few hours.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, school districts around the Miami Valley had to get creative about how to honor the Class of 2020 on one of the biggest days of their lives.
“I felt, and I think the team really felt -- these kids needed to be recognized,” SCSD Superintendent Bob Hill told News Center 7′s Jenna Lawson.
The district scheduled every graduate -- all 471 of them -- for 10 minute graduation appointments during a seven-day period that started Thursday and will continue until May 20.
Each appointment starts with a temperature check from the district’s nursing staff.
Every senior walks across a grandiose stage in the gym -- that was built just for their class’ graduation -- to ‘Pomp and Circumstance’ and receives their diplomas, while their family watches and takes pictures from a spot much closer than they would be able to during a typical graduation ceremony on the school’s football field.
Each appointment was still filled with all the emotions that one would experience on graduation day -- cheering, laughter, tears and even after parties -- even if they were in the parking lot.
CONGRATS GRADS!: WHIO’s Salute to the Class of 2020 photo gallery
Although the ceremony was one that was no one had ever envisioned for themselves, the district’s efforts to make sure seniors still had their special moments were appreciated by graduates and their families.
“It does suck that we’re seniors in high school and we’re missing out on prom and graduation, but there’s people out there that are really being impacted by this virus --- and we really don’t have it the worst,” said graduate Tyler Craddock. "Make the best out of what we have -- and Go Cats!
Prior the graduation ceremony, banners were hung in downtown Springfield with seniors’ pictures and yard signs were put in graduates’ front lawns. The district also had ‘Class of 2020’ banners made that feature the name of every graduating senior.
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