FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 6, 2020
J.O. Combs Unified School District Announces Graduation Plans for Seniors
SAN TAN VALLEY, ARIZ. - Due to the unknown duration of the COVID-19 safety restrictions, the J.O. Combs Unified School District had originally elected to concurrently plan for two possible graduation ceremony options for Combs High School: a traditional in-person ceremony and a virtual graduation. As a result of Governor Ducey's announcement on Monday, the District has decided to host both versions of graduation ceremonies.
On Tuesday, May 19, 2020 Combs High School will be launching a virtual graduation video, including each graduate’s photo and video clip while their name is read. The traditional speeches from students and administrators, as well as performances, will also be included. This ceremony will be considered the official graduation, as the District is aware that a number of students or families may not be able to or choose not to attend the in-person ceremony.
Prior to the streaming of the video, seniors will be invited to participate in a graduation parade at Combs High School on that same day, where they will safely stand six feet apart in their cap and gown, and families and community members will drive by while honking their horns, displaying celebratory signs, and more. Parents, families and community members will not be able to get out of their vehicles as part of the parade.
Seniors are asked to arrive at 6:00pm to pick up their diploma, and then will be given instructions on how to safely line up. From 6:30pm to 7:00pm, families and community members may drive by the lineup of graduates to share cheers, congratulations, and display other celebratory items. At 7:00pm, the graduation parade will conclude and families can return home where they can safely watch the virtual graduation ceremony at 8:00pm.
The District continues to encourage Combs High School seniors to film a short video clip of themselves celebrating at home in their cap and gown to include in the virtual graduation video, and submit those videos to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 11, 2020.
On Tuesday, June 9, 2020 Combs High School will then host a voluntary, in-person graduation ceremony. The District will adhere to CDC guidelines in the development of the structure of the event. Students will be seated six feet apart on the field and may have to adhere to other CDC guidelines. The event will be filmed to allow families and guests to see graduates accept diplomas, and these details will be shared at a later date. Decisions on the ability to accommodate a limited audience at this ceremony, as well as comply with other federal or state guidelines, will be announced in the future.
"We are acutely aware that the way the school year is ending for our 2020 graduates is all too unfair. They have been stripped of memories with friends, opportunities in athletics, band and theatre performances, and the celebration of key milestones that they’ve worked toward for years," said Dr. Greg Wyman, Superintendent, in a letter to families. "Despite these challenges, our graduates continue to represent a shining light of remarkable achievement, perseverance, and resilience, and we couldn’t be more proud. We know how important this milestone is for our students and families and we are committed to making this a memorable and safe celebration for our seniors and their loved ones."
The District has also worked diligently over the past several weeks to creatively honor and celebrate the Class of 2020 in other ways such as yard signs, a senior spotlight campaign on social media, and a nightly illumination of our stadium lights at 20:20.
For more information about the Combs High School graduation ceremony, please email email@example.com or visit combshs.jocombs.org.
Kayla Fulmer, Director of Marketing & Community Relations
J.O. Combs Unified School District
O: (480) 987-5322 | M: (480) 252-4482