There might still be a formal graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020.
On Monday, June 1, the Oakdale Joint Unified School District released an announcement that provided families with graduation dates. As of now, the plan for a traditional graduation is as follows:
Oakdale High School: Friday, July 31
Oakdale Junior High School: Thursday, July 30
Oakdale Charter School: Wednesday, July 29
East Stanislaus and Valley Oak High Schools: Wednesday, July 29
No times for the various ceremonies have been determined as of yet.
The notice also indicated that the district is still uncertain of what social distancing protocols will look like during these graduation dates but gave a brief outline of each of the four options.
“These dates provide the maximum amount of available time to try and provide our traditional ceremonies,” wrote District Superintendent Marc Malone. “The exact configuration of the respective ceremonies will be determined by the protocols in place effective July 21, 2020.”
Officials said that, depending on those protocols, the ceremonies will follow one of the following options:
Traditional ceremony with no protocols in place.
Traditional ceremony that includes all graduates with social distancing in place between each graduate. Two family members of each graduate will be invited guests and required to sit together in predetermined seating spaces to maintain social distancing.
Traditional ceremony with graduates only and no spectators. The ceremony will be live-streamed for family and community viewing.
Drive-Thru or Drive-In ceremony only due to continued protocols.
“One of our recent graduates said it best; they had no idea when we closed on March 18 that they may never have the opportunity to be together as a class again,” Malone said. “As a district, we are absolutely committed to give this graduating class some closure, and we went to as great lengths as we possibly could to provide it.”
He noted that the school board has been working alongside student leadership, who stated early on that they wanted to have a traditional graduation. Since then, the district has worked to plan that for them.
Since summer heat can be a determining factor, Malone said the traditional ceremonies will be scheduled later in the evening to accommodate temperatures.
“Drive-Thru or Drive-In ceremonies will be scheduled throughout the respective graduation day,” he added.
The district will determine the format to be used on July 21 based on the current protocols.
“That decision will be considered final regardless of any changes to the protocols after July 21,” Malone said. “Let’s all hope for good health and a full reopening so that we can provide our full traditional ceremony.”
The official letter can be found at ojusd-ca.schoolloop.com.