McFarland High School seniors were scheduled to pick up their caps and gowns Wednesday, June 3, in preparation of the Sunday, June 7, virtual graduation ceremony.

There are also plans for an in-person event Saturday, July 25, all due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Anne Nichols, MHS associate principal, thanked students and parents for their patience as officials planned the events.

“As of today, the plan has been reviewed and approved by Public Health Madison Dane County (PHMDC), our school board and administration, the district’s legal counsel and the McFarland police liaison officer,” she said. “We are confident that the June events are firm, and we will confirm the details of the July 25 ceremony by July 18, based on recommendations from PHMDC at that time.”

The graduation tribute will begin at 1 p.m. June 7.

Speeches by the superintendent, principal, valedictorian, salutatorian, class president and Spartan Award winner were recorded June 1. The speeches will air during the graduation tribute on McFarland Cable and be linked to the high school Facebook page.

The high school stadium lights will be on from 8:20-9 p.m. that day (8:20 p.m. is also 20:20 on the 24-hour clock).

Nichols said the July 25 diploma ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. at either the Lloyd Schneider Stadium or the performing arts center, depending on weather. Also, depending on which phase of the Forward Dane reopening plan is in place then, the number of attendees will be limited. Indoor gatherings will be smaller than outdoor events, Nichols said.

Students will have the chance to walk across the stage when their names are announced, have a photo taken with the administration and school board, and turn their tassels as they receive their diplomas.

Guests will be limited to no more than four per graduate.

This will be a staggered ceremony with an appointed time for students and guests to attend, based on PHMDC restrictions in place at the time.

A senior slideshow will be shown, and a video of all graduation events will be available.

A blue carnation with a white ribbon is the class flower. “I’ll Be There For You” by The Rembrandts is the class song. The class motto, from Winnie the Pooh (A.A. Milne), is “Always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.”

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