SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Celebrations for the Class of 2020 will continue with an in-person graduation ceremony, the Sioux Falls School District announced this week.
After holding a virtual graduation in May, school leaders stated they were going to try and provide an in-person graduation ceremony. A survey of senior students showed many students wanted to see each other in person one final time at a graduation ceremony.
The graduation will take place outside at Howard Wood Field in Sioux Falls. The district said it will try its best to maintain social distancing but added each person will have to determine if it safe for them and their guests to attend.
Plans for graduation are for New Tech High School and Lincoln High School to graduate on Saturday, June 27 at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., respectively. Roosevelt High School will follow at 11 a.m. Sunday, June 28 and Washington High School graduates will be honored at 5 p.m. Sunday, June 28.
Assistant Superintendent Dr. Jamie Nold said everything is moving well for the June 27 and 28 graduation dates.
“It’s a great source of celebration and closure for those seniors,” Nold said. “I’m looking forward to the graduation and the celebration. It’ll still be a little unique but that’s OK, they deserve that.”
Nold said the district received many messages from families who had families with students graduating for the first time and they wanted to be able to celebrate in person.
“That’s something they’ve earned. It takes a lot of years to earn that,” Nold said. “It’s going to be great to see them go through that process.”
Nold said the school district is happy to be able to provide an in-person graduation, but highlighted officials still recognize how much students missed out on from state tournaments to entire sports seasons.
He said events like a pandemic put into perspective what everyone takes for granted and highlights very important moments like graduation.
“There’s a lot of things they did lose during this spring,” Nold said. “We all may not remember all the details, but many of us remember graduation brought closure to our high school and we all moved on after that.”