The Palo Alto Unified School District’s high school graduation ceremonies will be held in December after the Palo Alto High School senior class voiced opposition to a modified June ceremony, according to Paly Principal Adam Paulson’s letter to the school community.
Previously, Superintendent Don Austin had discussed plans for a virtual graduation ceremony in June, but further senior input gathered through surveys and discussion made it clear that the graduating class largely preferred a delayed ceremony.
“At this point we are still in a shelter in place with no group gatherings of any size permitted by the county and state,” Paulson stated in his letter. “It is not foreseeable that within 3 months that these restrictions will permit 2000+ person events.”
Despite the postponement of the graduation ceremony, Paulson wrote that there will be a “senior send-off/celebration” during the first week of June, organized by the school administration and the Associated Student Body, to recognize the achievements of the Class of 2020.
The details of the postponed graduation ceremony have yet to be determined and will depend on the county and state protocols regarding COVID-19 in December. Further discussions are scheduled to take place at the beginning of the 2020-21 school year, according to Paulson’s message.
“We are incredibly empathetic to the class of 2020 and the fact that all the culminating events of their high school have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic,” Paulson wrote.