TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)-- Topeka Public Schools are happy to announce that they will be the first district to host virtual graduations in Shawnee County.
The ceremonies will happen online this week, while the district still hopes to host an in-person ceremony in late July if health guidelines allow it under the Kansas Reopen plan. The Topeka Public Schools Superintendent and principals wanted to celebrate the students in May for their accomplishments made all year.
In the event that the COVID-19 virus spreads and movement through Governor Kelly’s Kansas Reopen phases is delayed in July, the school district ensures that students will be celebrated as they conclude the 2020 school year.
Governor Kelly and Mayor De La Isla have been invited to give students congratulations for a few minutes as a special tribute to the graduating classes of 2020.
The graduation will be aired on the district television station, Cox Channel 14, and all-district social media, on Saturday, May 16, at 8:45 a.m.
“We want this to be a special occasion and we want students to know we love them and we congratulate them on graduating despite the challenges of a pandemic,” says Superintendent Dr. Tiffany Anderson. “We want them to know the entire community celebrates their accomplishment, even if it is virtually.”
Members of the community are encouraged to send congratulations on social media as the celebration airs on Saturday. The virtual graduation in May allows all staff and students to participate, even those that have plans to leave the area after the school year has ended.
Additionally, Highland Park High School recently held their robing ceremony, a two-year-old tradition. Highland Park parents submitted videos showing the distribution of graduation robes at their homes. These can be seen here.
Topeka Public Schools have continued virtual field trips, college visits and even a virtual field day. The district is currently planning virtual summer enrichment and all promotional ceremonies for elementary, middle and high school graduation are being held online.
The high school graduation schedule reads as:
Hope Street: Thursday, May 14, 2020, 10:00 a.m.
Topeka West: Saturday, May 16, 2020, 9:00 a.m.
Highland Park: Saturday, May 16, 2020, 10:15 a.m.
Topeka High: Saturday, May 16, 2020, 11:15 a.m.