CCSD graduation plans a work in progress

Posted at 5:18 PM, Apr 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-15 21:26:52-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Plans for graduation remain up in the air as schools remain closed across CCSD because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The traditional cap and gown ceremony may have a different look next month, as CCSD high school students are set to graduate. Superintendent Jesus Jara acknowledged that reality in a virtual town hall Tuesday.

“We’re certainly not going to cancel. What it will look like will depend on following CDC guidelines,” he said.

Jara met with student body presidents from the district’s high schools on a plan to move forward on graduation. He says their input is needed along with principals.

“We’re going to ask out students first. Our ideas may be great but obviously asking our kids in how we celebrate in their honor,” Jara said.

One proposal floated by some are drive-through ceremonies at the homes of seniors. Jara says he’s gotten emails about the idea, but says options are open.

‘We’re going to put them all together and find the best way to celebrate our students,” he said.

Making sure students graduate is also another priority. Governor Steve Sisolak issuing a directive to have the state education department support local districts by waiving laws or regulations that may impede on a student's ability to graduate.

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“We have like a vision of what our senior year will be and for a lot of students, that was cut short,” Tatum Winspear, senior class president at Centennial High School, said.

She and many other seniors are feeling the effects of the school closures, prompted by the coronavirus outbreak. She understands graduation will likely be different.

“Having some sort of feeling where you feel you are ending your year and are celebrating that accomplishment is ideal,” Winspear said.

For senior Camerion Murray from Sierra Vista High School, he’s bummed about the possibility his family may not be able to watch him graduate in a cap and gown.

“it definitely affects me in a way, due to all the years of hard work that I put into school and just the thought of potentially not walking across the stage,” Murray said.

Despite the disappointment he says he’s putting the ultimate goal in perspective.

“Just to receive my diploma and know that I finished, and I completed everything that’s just my biggest concern right now,” Murray said.

Winspear says her school is looking at alternative ways to celebrate and have looked into options like drive thru ceremonies. She says for now, it’s all about keeping in touch with her classmates.

“That’s why it’s so important for seniors to reach out to each other and kind of make sure we’re all okay and nobody should have to go through this alone,” she said.

CCSD released this statement:

“Superintendent Jesus F. Jara is having conversations with students and principals to explore potential options to graduate our seniors and celebrate their accomplishments.

CCSD will openly share information with school communities and the public at large when more details on graduation and graduation celebrations are available. CCSD will continue to put the health and safety of its students and staff as a priority and follow appropriate CDC and health expert guidelines with any potential graduation celebration activities. Superintendent Jara and all the CCSD team have constantly expressed their admiration and support for the Class of 2020, and will work closely to recognize this life-changing milestone.

CCSD looks forward to receiving further guidance from the Governor's Office and the Nevada Department of Education on school closures and graduation requirements.”

CCSD schools remain closed until April 30th.