Parents and Class of 2020,
This is a year to remember in so many different ways. The Barberton City School District is so proud of all that you have accomplished. This Senior Class of 2020 has reached so many personal milestones and experienced so much. All of us share in the emotions you are experiencing from sadness, anger, disappointment, and in some cases fear at the loss of events that you looked forward to for so many years.
It is with heavy hearts that Barberton High School needed to change the graduation ceremony that so many of you looked forward to for the past thirteen years. Due to the current health and safety concerns for all, we are moving the graduation ceremony to a later date. It is important to us that we provide the opportunity to celebrate the Class of 2020.
We must take Governor DeWine’s message of maintaining a healthy and safe environment into consideration while planning this event. There are still so many concerns and unknowns for us when dealing with COVID-19. Ohio State Superintendent discusses the message from Governor DeWine, from Monday, April 20th, by quoting, “the gathering of significant numbers of people is a dangerous situation.” Thus the Ohio Department of Education provided the following guidance on graduations, “school leaders should conduct graduation ceremonies and other recognition events in a remote manner that honors each student in a safe and responsible way, prioritizing the health needs of students, their families, and the community.”
Rest assured, that although this is a year to remember, this will not define you or break the Magic spirit that is in each of you. We recognize this may not work for every single senior and every single family. However, in this time of change and uncertainty we will do our very best to recognize and remember all the Class of 2020 has to offer.
Mr. Muren, Mr. Hartzell, and Mrs. Wesolowski met with senior class leadership to discuss two options for graduation. They are the Senior Class of 2020 officers and the senior class Student Council officers and advisory. The two options included a blended plan and a virtual plan using a Josten’s template. The class of 2020 officers and senior Student Council leadership felt that walking across the stage was important to them and that the blended plan was best for our students and community and will provide them that opportunity. Barberton High School's Administration agrees with the importance and is moving forward with this plan. We thank and appreciate the student leaders for their efforts and time in this matter.
Barberton City School Schools and Barberton High School will conduct a graduation ceremony in such a manner that it will maintain social distancing and prioritizing the health of the students and families. The ceremony will be a cross between individual and remote recognition. Starting May 11th, students will sign-up for a ten-minute time slot for the week of June 1st that will allow them and family members to come to the high school theater. There will only be five time slots per hour with a two-minute transition period between students. The student may bring family members with the total number to meet the Ohio Department of Health’s limit on mass gatherings. The final number of family members will be announced closer to the week of June 1st. The time slots will be from noon to 9 pm daily. The student will fill out a paper with the following information to be announced: name, 3E plan, scholarships won, etc. The student will walk across the stage and pick up their diploma off of a table. The process will be recorded. The student will stop for a picture and be given a few minutes for the parents to take an additional photograph. The student will exit through the back of the lobby. The student will have additional opportunities to take pictures in and around the school. The following speeches will be read and recorded: class president, superintendent, and school principal. The summa cum laude recognition will be read and photos of those students will be used. Distinguished educators voted on by the class of 2020 will have their names read by Assistant Superintendent Jason Ondrus and photos of educators will be inserted. The videos will be edited to create a full ceremony to include Pomp and Circumstance, the Alma Mater, and the tassel ceremony. Disinfecting and cleaning will be conducted throughout the day with a nightly cleaning. The video will be posted to the district website where students and families will have access to it. Further viewing in mass has not been decided on yet and will be dependent on the current situation and guidelines from the Ohio Department of Education and Ohio Department of Health.
We are very proud of our seniors and the Barberton community and look forward to celebrating our graduates accomplishment. Please stay safe! Please stay healthy!
Barberton High School Principal