Class of 2020 Support
We know you have questions and concerns about graduation and other requirements for the class of 2020. We want to answer those questions and support each one of our seniors. We are working closely with the Office of Public Instruction (OSPI), the State Board of Education, and our local colleges and universities that provide credit-bearing classes for our students. Please be assured that students’ graduation will not be negatively impacted as a result of circumstances beyond their control. That is our commitment to you.
Graduation requirements for the class of 2020 fall in three areas: 1) credits in required and elective courses 2) state assessments/graduation pathways, and 3) the high school and beyond plan. The paragraphs below will help you see the supports we provide so seniors meet the requirements.
May 27, 2020 | Graduation Ceremony Change
Dear Everett Public School seniors and families:
We hope this letter finds your family healthy and well. When we sent information to you on May 20 on how graduation would be handled within the parameters of Governor Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” mandate, we knew there would be some disappointment. No matter what option we choose that is allowable by the health district during COVID-19 restrictions, it will not look the way it has in the past, which is sad and frustrating for many.
The main concern we heard about the plan at the Civic Auditorium is that parents would not be allowed in the Auditorium to see their graduate walk across the stage. We hear you and have made the only allowable change possible to the graduation plan.
PROVIDED WE ARE IN PHASE 2 of the governor’s phased reopening, we will now have a covered stage set up in the south parking lot at Everett Memorial Stadium. This will allow each family, at their assigned date and time, to drive up to the stage, let their graduate get out of the car and walk across the stage while being recorded. This recording will be consolidated into a final digital celebration but will also allow parents to personally see their student walk across the stage. The following criteria must be followed in order to allow this option:
- We must be in phase 2 of the phased reopening
- One car per family
- Only family members are allowed in the car
- Graduate must wear a mask until they walk across the stage
- As soon as the graduate walks across the stage they must get back in the car and immediately leave the parking area
- Students should contact their school administrator if they need assistance with transportation
If we are not in Phase 2 by June 10, we will implement plan B, which is 100% virtual and involves collecting photos of seniors to splice into the final digital graduation. We will be collecting photos for school slide shows that could be used in this back-up option.
All speeches will be recorded at Civic Auditorium on June 10, and Sequoia High School will still hold their graduation at Civic Auditorium, also on June 10. The outdoor stage approach will be for the three comprehensive high schools, with Cascade High filming on June 11, Jackson High on June 12 and Everett High on June 13. You will receive more detailed information soon from your school.
Thank you for your partnership as we celebrate this milestone event while keeping everyone safe,
Dr. Ian Saltzman
May 20, 2020 |Graduation Update
Dear Everett Public School seniors and families:
We hope this letter finds your family healthy and well. Many have been asking how graduation will be handled with Governor Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” mandate. I know this is lengthy, but I felt it was important for you to understand the planning process and why we landed where we did. We appreciate the dozens of creative ideas shared as we have sought the best way to honor and celebrate the 13 years you have committed to your education. We have made a commitment as a district to do what is right for all students, and that means picking the best possible option and making the experience similar for all four of our high schools, while maintaining the key characteristics of each school at their ceremony.
In addition to the many ideas sent directly to schools and the district, on April 22 we held a focus group with seniors and parents of seniors to gather ideas and feedback on ways we should celebrate if a traditional graduation was not possible. We took those ideas and summarized them into the top five ideas and sent those out in a survey to all seniors and their parents/guardians. We had around 1,200 responses to that survey, and we appreciate the additional comments received and your engagement in the process.
The prioritized options were then discussed with a graduation committee, with representation from our four high schools and the district, to determine which options were going to be feasible while following city, county and state mandates.
One thing we heard loud and clear is students want something tangible, they want to walk across a stage, be handed a diploma, and do not want something 100% virtual. We worked within our given parameters to keep that as a last option.
Many students and parents hoped graduation could either happen as is or just be postponed until later in the summer. Due to the extension of the social distancing mandate through May 31, and the phased-in approach shared by the governor, no gathering as large as a graduation is feasible for many months to come and likely into the fall, when many seniors will have left for college. Unfortunately, this option was not viable to pursue.
The same reason also makes a graduation in Everett Memorial Stadium, with graduates standing six feet apart logistically unfeasible. Containing an entrance and exit of more than 400 students at a time with family members, in addition to unknown weather, does not make the stadium an option to pursue. The new graduation parameters also disallowed this option.
Another option was the drive-thru diploma pick up. It was moderately approved via the parent and student survey, but the committee had concerns about equity and safety. In addition, graduates would not be allowed to step out of their vehicles for photos, which took a lot of meaning out of this option.
That left the final two options, the hybrid option and the 100% virtual option. We proposed the hybrid model to the state and our plans were determined to be out of compliance, so we went back to the drawing board again. Our letter to the governor initiated a state-wide process to have the Department of Health give parameters for state graduations. These were announced May 14. We adjusted our virtual plans and resubmitted them to the city and the health department and on May 18 received approval for an event which we believe will be the best way to celebrate our graduates within today’s current confines.
PROVIDED WE ARE IN PHASE 2 of the governor’s phased reopening, we are able to film individual graduates walking across the graduation stage in their cap and gown at Civic Auditorium. If we are not in phase 2 by June 10 we will try and postpone filming for a week or two hoping phase 2 will start. If not, we will implement plan B, which is 100% virtual and involves collecting photos of seniors to splice into the final digital graduation. We will be collecting photos for school slide shows that could be used in this back-up option.
We have contracted with Jostens to help facilitate a graduation ceremony for each high school which will combine an in-person and virtual experience. You will receive more detailed information shortly from your school, but presuming Snohomish County will be in phase 2 and we can proceed, commencement filming will be June 10-13.
On those days, graduates will receive a designated (precise and ample) time to arrive at Civic Auditorium, will park in the back by the gym and stay in their car until their number is called. They will be in their caps and gowns with masks and will be socially distanced via markings on the sidewalks, with no more than 5 in line at a time.
One at a time, with no family accompanying them, they enter the auditorium where there will be a videographer, photographer and administrator (never more than 5 in the room total). They will take off their mask, get recorded walking across the stage and picking up their diploma off the table, walk off the stage and get their photo taken, re-mask and go directly to their car. Then, the next student enters and repeats the same process. There will be accommodations for students who do not have transportation and assurance there will be no group gatherings, extra masks and hand sanitizer will be provided and cleaning precautions will be in effect. The recording will be spliced together afterward with prerecorded speeches to make a complete digital graduation celebration.
About one week after the recordings occur, there will be a YouTube premiere of each high school graduation.
Again, more details will come from your school. I hope you feel like you have had a voice in this process as we have done our best to honor your ideas while respecting mandates to keep everyone safe and healthy. We know you deserve an amazing celebration and believe this can be that for you and your family.
We miss having you in school and hope you and your family are well and staying safe. Please take care of each other and yourself.
Dr. Ian Saltzman
May 7, 2020 | Graduation Plans
Class of 2020: We told you there would be an announcement today about graduation plans. We are still working out some details that will allow us to continue to follow the state mandate of social distancing. Sorry for the delay – we will get you information as soon as it is confirmed.
SENIOR ZOOM WEBINAR (NEW)
A Message to Seniors from Dr. Saltzman | April 9, 2020
With school buildings closed for the rest of the school year, we are working hard to ensure we have answers to your questions. I would like to have some time to work with you next week to share a bit about what we are doing and to answer the questions I can.
Please join me on Wednesday, April 15 at 11:30 a.m. for a Zoom Senior Webinar. The link has been sent to your school district email (go to everettsd.org/Page/25473 for instructions if you need them.)
You can also submit a question ahead of time on our website using this form.
I look forward to talking to you next week.
We are here for you. We will get through this together. Be well.
Credits in required and elective courses
Teachers, administrators, counselors, and support staff are working hard to ensure seniors earn credits in current courses and any other courses they may need to meet graduation requirements. You can expect teachers to continue to develop learning engagement materials, update plans weekly (with the exception of Spring Break), and to provide meaningful and timely feedback to students. Counselors and success coordinators will contact seniors who have additional courses they need to complete and will provide options and support to earn those credits.
Assessment requirements for graduation/graduation pathway
Students must meet the graduation pathway requirement. Seniors who have not yet met standard on the state assessment or through another pathway, or who are unsure if they have met this requirement, should contact their counselor. For the class of 2020, there are many options and this should not impede a senior’s graduation.
High School and Beyond Plan
Students must also meet the high school and beyond plan requirement. Seniors will complete this plan in Naviance. School staff, including counselors, career specialists, students’ College and Career Readiness Seminar (or equivalency) teachers, and administrators, with support from the high school and beyond facilitator, will provide the necessary support for seniors to complete this plan.
Please reach out to your school counselor, principal, or the director of college and career readiness and on-time graduation (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have concerns or questions regarding how to ensure your senior meets the graduation requirements.
Class of 2020 Frequently Asked Questions
Please view this page for a list of FAQs.