When the Marshall High School decided to hold off on hosting a June 6 graduation ceremony due to coronavirus, administration was hopeful that by the rescheduled date of July 25, the celebration would be a go.
Of course, much like many planned events this summer, COVID-19 was going to put a damper on those plans.
“We half-heartedly joked on July 2 when the new Dane County orders came out limiting indoor gatherings to no more than 10 people and outdoor gatherings to no more than 25 people, that now we would have to come up with Plans W, X, Y, and Z for graduation. It has been quite the journey,” Dean of Students Matt Kleinheinz and high school counselor Rebecca Schneider wrote to parents and student in a letter released July 7.
Now, the ceremony has been adapted to align with the most-recent Public Health Madison & Dane County order.
According to the pair of district staff, they foresee that not everyone will be happy with the decision. The staff members said countless hours have been invested to planning the original July 25 ceremony, which would have been typical of the standard graduation celebration with students accepting their diplomas in the high school gym and during the processional, having a member of their family turn the graduation tassel from right to left, signifying the end of the student’s high school career.
Continuing to use July 25 as the graduation date, beginning at 9 a.m. each member of the Marshall High School Class of 2020 will be assigned a time to arrive at the high school wearing their cap and gown. Each graduate will have their name read; the student will walk across the stage and a member of their family will turn their tassel. Before leaving the school, each graduate will add their piece to the senior mural in the hallway.
“By doing it this way graduates can bring up to nine spectators with them, if they so choose, to share in this moment,” Kleinheinz and Schneider wrote in the letter.
If Dane County continues to require people to wear masks indoors, with the exception of their home, all graduates and their attendees will need to abide by the order.
The graduation speeches by class members Gianna Dugan, Aubrie Kappes, Gabriella Campos and Ireland Virgil will be prerecorded prior to July 25. The school district will release a link to the speeches on graduation day. Additionally, the reading of each individual student and their walk across the stage will be filmed and a link to this will be released the week of July 27.