District News

Class of 2020 Commencement Information

Posted on: May 7, 2020

Parents and Guardians of Harrison High School Seniors,

As the 2019 / 20 school year comes to an end, remotely, we look forward to our most important day of the year… Graduation!  This is the day where we celebrate the journey that our seniors have been on to arrive here at this point.  We know that they all have had different paths, but they also have one thing in common.  They are all Wildcats!  And we are all very proud of them.  Even in these uncertain times, they have shown us how strong and resilient they are.  To steal from the Marines, they have been able to improvise, adapt, and overcome throughout this time away from the traditional classroom.  With that being said, we will try to do the same. 

After much thought and consideration, we have developed a plan to celebrate and provide closure to this chapter in their lives.  We know they have much awaiting them in the future, and closure to this school year is important for the next phase to begin!  Our plan mimics the aforementioned traits to provide them with the best 140th Commencement Ceremony feasible, given the state mandates and orders that are in place at this time.  We will be holding two graduations.  The first will focus on closing out this school year in a way that is both dignified, personal and adheres to the orders in place – with regards to large gatherings and social distancing.  This ceremony will be virtual in nature, but with diplomas being delivered in person by both a WHHHS administrator and a district dignitary on May 27 & 28. Students will be in their caps & gowns and photos will be taken. There will then be a series of videos that we will record over the next few weeks, intertwined with the graduate photos to create a virtual celebration: a video that we will present to you on June 13th.  The second graduation ceremony will involve the traditional, in-person graduation which will happen at the earliest of the four permissible dates that were communicated in a video message from Mr. Hamstra on April 21st. Those alternative dates being 7/11/20, 10/10/20, 12/29/20, and 5/22/21).

In the end, we feel this is our best possible scenario, given the challenges of both large group gatherings and social distancing. We explored the “drive-by / thru” route, the drive-in movie theater angle, as well as numerous others. In the end, our desire is to both provide closure to this school year and to conduct both events in a dignified manner. We fully understand that this change is and has been extremely difficult. It has been for us as well. We started planning for the 140th commencement ceremony back in August, and to have things devolve this spring has been gut-wrenching. We appreciate your understanding and the trust that you put in our staff to make the right call – with regards to both safety and honoring this tradition.

Here’s where we need your help. If you are a senior, please click HERE to take a brief survey.  This survey will let us know your preference on diploma delivery.  

Attached HERE we have put together a couple slides to help explain and highlight virtual graduation.  Congratulations to the Class of 2020!