Graduation Class of 2020
- Virtual Graduation Celebration for Class of 2020 on YouTube June 15, 2020
- Graduation Plan Update, May 27, 2020
- Two Options for 2020 Graduation Ceremony
Teachers and staff at the district's four high schools recently hosted walk- and drive-thru graduation ceremonies where students in the Class of 2020 wore their caps and gowns to pick-up diplomas and celebrate their achievement as family members took photos and cheered on their students.
Students and staff also videotaped graduation speeches, performances, and other material which will be coupled with a slideshow of student photos and compiled into virtual graduation video to celebrate the Class of 2020.
These virtual graduation ceremonies will premiere on the district’s YouTube page on Monday, June 15.
Wednesday, May 27, 2020—Today, Governor Jay Inslee announced that he does not believe that all counties, including King County, will move to Phase II of the state’s Safe Start recovery plan by June 1, and will remain in Phase I as several important areas—disease activity, testing, and healthcare system status—have yet to meet guidelines laid out in the plan.
The announcement means King County, along with others, cannot safely reopen businesses and resume travel, shopping, recreation, and gatherings (some restrictions were lifted for houses of worship). The decision also impacts our plans for celebrating the Class of 2020.
Earlier this month, we created two plans for graduation celebrations for the Class of 2020. As Phase I does not allow any in person activity (including the graduation walk we planned in Option 1) we will move to Option 2 and create a virtual graduation by videotaping parts of the ceremony and including a slideshow of graduating seniors (senior photos will be used in this slideshow). This virtual graduation ceremony will premiere on the district’s YouTube page on Monday, June 15.
Additionally, high schools are planning a graduation event between June 1-5 that will provide students who have met graduation requirements an opportunity to pick-up their diploma cover, while in cap and gown, in a vehicle procession in each school’s parking lot. Graduating seniors and families are being provided details of this plan by their high school principal.
Renton Schools has two options for a graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020.
We’ve worked to develop plans that gets the closest to the wishes of our seniors while adhering to the new requirements for graduations that were released by the Washington State Department of Health on May 14 (read here).
Option #1 Senior Graduation Walk
June 1-4, 2020
(preferred method; but only available if Washington State has moved to Phase 2 of governor’s reopening plan):
Seniors who are on track to meet all graduation requirements will be invited to participate in a Senior Graduation Walk to receive their diploma cover while wearing their cap and gown. This walk will be recorded by professional videographers and professional photos will be taken of each graduate (as in previous graduation ceremonies these photos will be available for purchase). The video of the graduation walk, along with student and staff speeches, will be used to create a virtual graduation ceremony that will premiere on the Renton School District YouTube page on Monday, June 15.
The Graduation Walk will take place at the IKEA Performing Arts Center at Renton High School campus. In order to ensure we are able to follow social distancing guidelines, graduates will be assigned a specific time by their school on the following dates:
- June 1, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m, Renton High School
- June 2, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m, Lindbergh High School
- June 3, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m, Hazen High School
- June 4, 8 to 10 a.m, Hazen High School
- June 4, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m, Talley High School
If a student is unable to participate in the Graduation Walk with their high school, their yearbook photo will be used as a part of the virtual graduation ceremony. Students can only participate in the walk at their designated time: there will not be additional or alternative times provided.
On the day and time of the assigned Graduation Walk, seniors will arrive in their cap and gown and adhere to the graduation dress code. Students must arrive no more than 15 minutes prior to the assigned time.
- Vehicles will enter the parking lot on South 2nd Street and exit in the back of the lot onto Logan Ave South.
- Vehicles will park in the lot and graduates will walk around to the front entrance on South 2nd Street to check in. No one else is allowed out of the vehicle or in the venue.
- Seniors must wear a mask to enter the venue. They may remove it immediately before “walking." No purses, backpacks or personal items may be brought in.
- Students will wait in line (spaced out 6 or more feet) until it is time to walk across the stage.
- No convening on campus will be allowed. Students must leave immediately after exiting.
Option #2: Virtual Graduation
If Washington State is still in “Phase 1”, the Governor’s Office and the Department of Health will not allow us to do any in person activity (including the graduation walk described above); so, we will create a virtual graduation with videotaping of a mock ceremony and a slideshow of seniors (students’ yearbook photos will be used). This virtual graduation ceremony will premiere on the district’s YouTube page on Monday, June 15.
We will also explore options to allow this year’s graduates to participate in next school year’s (2020-2021) graduation ceremony.
Participation in filming does not guarantee graduation. Students can only receive a diploma by completing all WA State and Renton School District requirements for graduation. To graduate and earn a diploma, seniors will need to continue to complete coursework for required classes through June 12. Students who fail to submit their High School and Beyond Plan, WA State History Requirement and/or are not making adequate progress in Credit Recovery classes will NOT receive a time to participate in the walk ceremony. Also, we are working on a plan for distribution of Honor Cords and Award Medals. It is likely these items will be distributed to students during their staging time.
Seniors with questions about this graduation ceremony should contact their school principal.