Poudre School District sent a letter Friday to seniors and their families outlining two options for late-July graduation ceremonies due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The letter outlines a plan to host in-person graduation events at French Field in Fort Collins the weekend of July 24-25, with the weekend of July 31-Aug. 1 as a contingency for inclement weather.
The letter, which was sent by PSD Superintendent Sandra Smyser and assistant superintendent Scott Nielsen, also said the district’s plan is contingent upon following county, state and national public health guidelines and orders that are in place at the time.
The backup option in lieu of an in-person commencement will feature a premiere of celebration videos for each school’s graduating class.
Here are more details for PSD’s two graduation options:
- In-person graduation ceremonies spread across Friday, July 24 and Saturday, July 25 at French Field (1300 W. Swallow Road, Fort Collins).
- Physical distancing measures will still be enforced, with further specifics shared by the district ahead of the event.
- French Field has a lower capacity than the Lincoln Center or Moby Arena, meaning attendance could be limited to just the class of 2020 or a limited number of attendees per graduate.
- A livestream will be provided for those family and friends who cannot attend.
- This is the latest date the district felt comfortable scheduling, given that many graduates could be starting jobs, school or military service by August.
- Makeup dates for inclement weather: Friday, July 31 and Saturday, Aug. 1.
- A final decision on the event’s status will be made by the end of June.
- A premiere celebration that includes a video for each graduating class.
- No in-person event will accompany the video premiere.
- PSD TV is already working with high schools to produce online video tributes that will honor and spotlight each graduate.
- From PSD: “We promise to pour our hearts into producing video tributes that will honor and give each of you a moment in the spotlight.”
The letter also included a final note from the district staff:
“To our seniors, we are deeply sorry this is happening to you. Never in our lifetimes could we imagine we’d find ourselves in this place and time. You have each overcome challenges and achieved great things, during your careers in PSD. No one person or thing — even a global pandemic that’s forever altered our world in profound and yet-to-be-understood ways — can take that away from you. Be proud of who you have become; we sure are.”
Chris Abshire is the sports and stats content coach at the Coloradoan. Contact him at ChrisAbshire@coloradoan.com. Support his work and that of other Coloradoan journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today.
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