While this year’s graduation ceremony will not be a typical one for students at Napoleon High School, seniors had a chance to document the memory this week leading up to Sunday’s virtual graduation ceremony.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including orders issued by the state limiting the size of mass gatherings, Napoleon has opted for a virtual graduation ceremony, with segments of the traditional graduation ceremony being prerecorded.

Also this week, seniors participated in an individual graduation presentation photography session. Ryan Wilde, junior/senior high school principal, explained seniors came into the school by appointments. The appointments were set in 15-minute increments to ensure there was time for social distancing between groups and to allow time for the sanitation of surfaces.

Students entered the junior high school gym already wearing their cap and gown, and face masks/coverings were required as well. They went through a series of health screening questions and then received additional items as applicable such as graduation/honor cords, a Career Passport from Four County Career Center and awards from the Academic Booster Club, which would typically be presented during an awards ceremony prior to graduation.

The senior went up on the stage and received their class flower. Their name was then announced over the intercom and they walked across the stage.

Up to four family members could accompany the senior and they were directed to a designated spot in front of the stage where they could take pictures and video clips of the student in front of a decorative school setting. Kelly Cooper, the school’s yearbook advisor, also took pictures, both with the student wearing their face mask and one without the mask. Seniors were encouraged to decorate their masks, and those with a creative and decorative mask were entered into a drawing for an Apple iPad.

The seniors then moved their tassel to the opposite side before exiting the stage and rejoining their family prior to leaving the building.

Wilde added diplomas and new diploma jackets will be mailed to students at the beginning of the June. He explained the district utilizes Jostens for its diploma and diploma jackets and, due to the pandemic, the company’s productions lines were impacted, so not of all the district’s items are available yet.

In between each appointment, Wilde said surfaces touched by students, including staging tables, handrails and the diploma jackets, which were also rotated, were sanitized.

Students could also turn in any remaining CAT Cash, which is part of the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program. One winner will be drawn during the virtual ceremony to win an Apple iPad.

Families will be emailed the link to the virtual ceremony, and the link will also be available on www.napoleonareaschools.org starting at 2 p.m. Sunday.

E-mail comments to jenl@northwestsignal.net.

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