Sioux Falls School District holding virtual graduation, rescheduling in-person ceremony

Published: Apr. 24, 2020 at 5:50 PM CDT
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As we inch closer to the end of the school year, graduation is just around the corner.

That means decisions need to be made on what those ceremonies may look like, which isn't easy.

The Sioux Falls School District announced their new plan Friday.

They’re aiming for a balance between safety, while still keeping some tradition for their students.

Although the face-to-face graduation ceremony on May 24 is cancelled, the new plan still includes a ceremony.

"Part of the new plan is we will still have a virtual graduation ceremony on May 24th,” said Superintendent Brian Maher.

“The virtual graduations will appear on KLRN-TV, our television channel and will also premiere on our YouTube channel at the same time as they would've, had they been live and in-person graduations."

Dr. Maher said student leaders from each school were clear they still want to have an in-person ceremony.

So, the plan also includes a rescheduled in-person graduation ceremony.

"Instead of being at the arena, those would be at Howard Wood Field and we've got some options put in place for those face-to-face graduations."

"We hope those can happen."

Having to choose between a virtual or in-person ceremony, soon turned into the question of why not aim for both?

“And it was really because of a couple students in the military who said, ‘I won’t be here for a face-to-face graduation if this drags on too long.' So really, it was that conversation where we said it doesn’t have to be either or. Let’s try to make it both.”

What exactly does a virtual graduation look like?

For the Sioux Falls school district, Dr. Maher anticipates it to be a 20-30 minute long ceremony with pomp and circumstance playing and each schools' colors present.

"You'll get the speeches from the seniors. The buildings are getting those done so that they're recorded. And then we'll have, I term it as, some video montage of performances from the particular schools."

"They've earned the right to close their senior year in the best way possible."

They're hoping to have the in-person graduation ceremonies either the end of June or the end of July.

But whether they happen, entirely depends on the state of the community's health at that time.

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