Jamestown school board to visit new graduation dates
Jamestown High School is committed to sending its seniors into the next phase of life but as of this time, it is going to be a little later than originally planned.
"With graduation, we did meet about this (Tuesday) and established a recommendation for a rescheduled graduation ceremony in the summer," said Adam Gehlhar, JHS principal. "This recommendation was made based on providing the best ceremony and experience we can create for our seniors."
Those seniors are having a different type of senior year than expected or planned. North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum mandated the closure of all schools due to the coronavirus pandemic on March 16. The senior class, along with the rest of the JHS student body, are finishing the school year with online classes. In addition to the transition to online learning, the spring athletic season and other spring activities have been canceled. In order to promote closure to the high school experience, Gehlhar said the JHS staff is recognizing seniors for the last six weeks of classes.
"In addition to our graduation ceremony we are working on creative ways that we can, in the coming weeks, encourage and recognize our seniors for their achievements, and persistence in the face of adversity and celebrate their contributions to our school and community," Gehlhar said.
A curbside graduation cap and gown pick up was held Monday for seniors at the high school.
The graduation ceremony was originally scheduled for May 24 at the Jamestown Civic Center. Gehlhar said summer graduation dates are being considered by the school board at this time. The principal stressed that the ceremony would be contingent on Burgum lifting social gathering size restrictions in place at this time.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends maintaining a social distance of 6 feet between parties and limiting social gatherings to 10 or fewer people. Gehlhar said the summer graduation ceremony will comply with any and all restrictions in place at that time.
"As we mentioned before we are committed to hosting this important milestone event and thank our stakeholders for their continued support and patience," Gehlhar said. "I’m confident our board will make a decision by that meeting using the best information available at that time."
The recommendation to reschedule the graduation ceremony will go to the school board as the board approves the school district calendar. Gehlhar said the board will be asked to act on the recommendation in the near future, likely when it convenes on May 4.