District offers graduation ceremony update

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District officials still hope to hold an in-person graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020 at Breitenbach Stadium on Saturday, July 25 at 7 p.m. involving all 500-plus graduates, Director of Communications Perry Hibner said.

If there is inclement weather, the ceremony would be held on Sunday, July 26 at 7 p.m.

The capacity at the stadium is just under 2,600 so if a full in-person ceremony is held, CSCS and MHS will be providing a limited number of tickets to each graduate. The District plans to stream the event live for anyone who can’t attend, Hibner said, adding the video will also be available on the District's YouTube Channel after the ceremony.

In the event the Forward Dane plan doesn’t allow for a full in-person ceremony by late July, the District is planning a smaller in-person event along with a virtual ceremony, Hibner said.

The smaller ceremony would involve 50 or 100 members of the Class of 2020 at a time. A planning team continues to work on details, although it would likely include a processional, an opportunity to walk on the stage to get a diploma, the changing of the tassel, and throwing caps in a safe way, Hibner said. The District is also looking at purchasing multiple backdrops so that photos could be taken around Breitenbach Stadium. 

The smaller ceremony may or may not include other attendees, Hibner said.

"We know how important this day is to families, but our focus will remain on making this day special for our seniors and the safety of those in attendance while making sure we follow the guidelines provided by local and state health agencies,'' he said.

The virtual ceremony would include speeches from class officers, the presentation of the graduates by CSCS principal Jill Gurtner and MHS principal Peg Shoemaker, and short remarks by Superintendent Dana Monogue. The video will be put on the District's YouTube Channel would also include live footage from each of the smaller, in-person ceremonies and the names and photo of each graduate, Hibner said. 

The District will make a final determination about if a full in-person ceremony can be held no later than July 11.

While school buildings have been closed since mid-March, there have been multiple other efforts to recognize the Class of 2020, including:

  • Yard signs were delivered to every member of the Class. The signs were purchased by the MCPASD Education Foundation and printed by The UPS Store of Middleton. CSCS and MHS staff members delivered the signs over a few days in early May.
  • Senior Spotlight graphics that included the photo and names of CSCS and MHS seniors were shared on the District's Facebook page. Each graphic contained pictures of up to six members of the Class of 2020. Three of four graphics typically ran daiily over the course of four weeks.
  • A spot on a digital billboard was purchased recognizing the MCPASD Class of 2020. The billboard is on Highway 14 next to Mounds Pet Food Warehouse and runs images of each graduate 1-2 times daily starting on June 1 and running for four weeks. Two more print billboards in Middleton area also have signs honoring the MCPASD Class of 2020.

"It's a small way to recognize members of the Class of 2020 during these extraordinary times,'' Hibner said. "We have been thrilled by the reception of the students, their families and our community to these efforts.''

Adams Outdoor Advertising designed the billboards.