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District Announces Plans to Honor the Class of 2020

SARASOTA COUNTY, April 22, 2020 – The unprecedented, life-altering changes that have transpired as a result of COVID-19 have impacted our community, state, nation and world forever. In an effort to preserve some normalcy, and ensure that graduating seniors receive the safest, most celebratory commencement season possible, Sarasota County Schools will be working with each traditional public high school in the district to schedule an in-person graduation ceremony in late July, as well as a dance for seniors, to honor each school’s Class of 2020. A digital tribute will also be created for each senior class.

All in-person graduation ceremonies and dances for seniors will be subject to cancellation pending the most current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and guidance from the Department of Health. Should in-person graduation ceremonies be cancelled, each school’s digital tribute will serve as its graduation ceremony for seniors. Should dances for seniors be cancelled, schools will incorporate a special recognition for the Class of 2020 during their homecoming in the fall.

A date for each school’s potential in-person graduation ceremony is still pending, but if health and safety guidelines permit, all ceremonies will be scheduled some time between Thursday, July 16 and Sunday, July 26. If permissible, each school’s dance for seniors will be held within this timeframe as well. The digital tribute for each school’s senior class will be released right after their graduation ceremony. The school district will share scheduling information related to celebratory events for Booker High School, North Port High School, Oak Park School, Pine View School, Riverview High School, Sarasota High School, Suncoast Polytechnical High School, Triad, and Venice High School as soon as more details become available.

“We want to ensure the district’s Class of 2020 has all the recognition and fanfare possible,” commented Mitsi Corcoran, interim superintendent of Sarasota County Schools. “Graduation ceremonies and dances are milestones and rites of passage that all seniors should be able to enjoy. With so much change and uncertainty ahead, we felt it was important to make plans that acknowledge our graduating seniors and provide the ability for them to forge their own memories. Our student, staff and community’s safety are our utmost concern, so we also need to understand that all plans are subject to the guidance from the CDC and Department of Health.  It’s disappointing that the Class of 2020 will not have the same commencement experiences as in years past, but we’re confident that these plans, as well as a few other surprises, will remind our graduating seniors and their families how much we care about them and how proud we are of their hard work.”