APS Graduation Guidelines

Posted on 05/20/2020


APS: Graduation Guidelines
Format and schedule released

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - Akron Public Schools is pleased to announce that it will be celebrating each senior with an in-person individualized graduation that will then be compiled into a keepsake digital graduation ceremony. Over the course of the last several weeks, students and staff from each high school met virtually to design commencement plans that are in alignment with state and local health department guidelines. This team proposed and received approval to celebrate the class of 2020 by giving each student the opportunity to walk the stage in their graduation gowns and receive their diplomas in person. 

Each high school submitted an individualized plan to schedule students over multiple days to walk the stage and received approval by the Summit County Public Health Department to proceed with elements of a traditional high school graduation experience while keeping the safety and health of the community in the forefront (i.e., social distancing, masks, etc.). 

High schools are informing seniors of their scheduled graduation times and details which permit small groups. These commencement ceremonies will last several days depending on the number of graduates. Each student is allowed up to four guests to attend the ceremony. Pre-recorded student commencement speeches will be viewable on each school's YouTube site, while the actual announcement of each student and his/her walk across the stage will be live-streamed so that friends and family not in attendance can watch the graduation. Social distancing will be used as students rotate through stations which include principals awarding diplomas, a picture with a professional photographer, a space for family photos and a personalized yard sign. The speeches and live-stream will be edited together for a full-length graduation ceremony video. 

The Top Five Highlights of the Akron Graduation Plan: 
  • Meets the student expectation of walking the stage with guests present 
  • Allows buildings to be creative while maintaining approved social distancing 
  • Builds in time for family photos and videos which allow public celebration 
  • Results in a clean and tight program to be the final product for viewing later 
  • Received approval from the health department
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