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Palm Beach County School District announces they will hold 'virtual graduation ceremonies'

Fennoy says possibility of recognition events in late summer
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Posted at 1:09 PM, Apr 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-15 16:20:21-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The Palm Beach County School District said Wednesday they will hold "virtual graduation ceremonies" starting in late May that will be aired on television and streamed online.

In a letter to the Class of 2020, Superintendent of Schools Donald Fennoy said this was the best way to recognize this year's class given that the state is still under a state-at-home order.

"However, please know that the District is monitoring the situation closely, hoping that there may be a possibility that schools can coordinate recognition events in late summer," said Fennoy in the letter.

MORE: WPTV Virtual Yearbook - Upload your student's photo

The superintendent said the virtual graduation will follow the format of a traditional graduation with the student's name being called and their picture being displayed.

The ceremony will also include speeches from principals and students.

The virtual graduations will air on Comcast 234, AT&T U-verse 99 and streamed on the school district's website.

Earlier this month, the Palm Beach County School District canceled graduation ceremonies at the South Florida Fairgrounds.

Read the full letter to the Class of 2020 below:

April 15, 2020
To the Distinguished Class of 2020,
I hope you are settling into your Google Classrooms and getting the most out of distance learning during this last stretch of your K-12 career.
As I promised you in my letter on April 7, the District has been exploring other commencement celebration options following the cancellation of graduation ceremonies at the South Florida Fairgrounds.
Many of you have called and emailed. I thank you for your input and ideas which were certainly taken into consideration.
I agree with the most prevalent collective opinion that a traditional graduation ceremony is the preferred way to honor your academic achievements; however, state and local guidelines regarding social distancing prevent the District from allowing mass gatherings at this time.
As you are aware, neither state or federal officials are able to provide a clear timeline for when large gatherings will again be safe. However, please know that the District is monitoring the situation closely, hoping that there may be a possibility that schools can coordinate recognition events in late summer.
In the meantime, I want you to be recognized in a way that I know is 100 percent possible now.
The District will hold virtual graduation ceremonies, beginning in late May, which will follow the format of traditional graduations. Your name will be called and your picture will be displayed to mark this milestone in your academic career. You'll hear from speakers including your principal and your classmates. I would be honored to help you mark this important occasion by saying a few words about your achievements and resilience, not only during this unprecedented time, but throughout your academic career.
Your virtual graduation will air on Comcast 234, AT&T U-verse 99, and will be streamed on the District's website: palmbeachschools.org. Perhaps you can host a virtual watch party where you invite friends and family to enjoy the celebration with you. The schedule of virtual graduations will be shared with you when it is finalized.
As I mentioned previously, your hard-earned high school diploma is a testament to your great success and determination.
On behalf of the entire School District of Palm Beach County, please accept our sincere appreciation of your understanding during this time of uncertainty.

Respectfully,

Donald E. Fennoy II, Ed.D.Superintendent, School District of Palm Beach County