To the Parents, Community, and Senior Class of 2020:
On Tuesday morning, the Graduation Committee met to discuss plans to hold an in-person graduation ceremony, scheduled for July 25 at Barton Coliseum. This committee has met several times. Since the group was formed, it has been a collective goal to host a ceremony and to truly serenade our seniors in a traditional fashion. Graduating from high school is truly an important milestone and one that should not be taken lightly. While we were aware of the limitations to ensure the safety of our students, staff, and families, we charged ourselves to make this ceremony logistically possible.
In a unanimous decision, the committee opted to cancel the in-person graduation ceremony. It breaks our hearts to deliver this news. But the decision was inevitable. With the sheer size of our senior class and the number of guests -- even with issuing tickets -- we would not be able to abide by the guidelines mandated by the Arkansas Department of Health and the Center for Disease Control when it comes to hosting large gatherings. In addition, we did not feel it was responsible to host graduation and risk the possibility of endangering our seniors, their families, our staff, and the community at large.
In addition to canceling graduation, we have also decided to call off Senior Activities as well.
We know that this announcement will not be met with applause. Some will vigorously disagree. However, we hope that you understand our position. As a district, we desire to see our students -- many of whom have been in this district since kindergarten -- donned in their blue caps and gowns and to hear the roaring sounds of cheers and claps from staff, family, and friends. It’s our last chance to see our students off before launching into adulthood.
While we won’t salute our seniors this year in the normal way, we hope that they know that we are rooting for them with the same amount of enthusiasm as though COVID-19 had not disrupted our lives. We are extremely proud of Class of 2020 and we wish them all tremendous success in the days, months, and years ahead. Once a Charging Wildcat, always a Charging Wildcat. You will always be a part of us.