FARGO — Graduating seniors in Fargo won’t get to walk across the stage and accept their diploma as their names are called on their scheduled graduation days this year. But there is a plan to make it happen in July.
With North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum extending his order to conduct distance learning through the end of the school year, Fargo Public Schools plans to virtually celebrate its graduating seniors on the originally scheduled graduation days. And it has tentative plans to hold physical graduations in late July.
“Although the current restrictions resulting from the threat of COVID-19 are limiting, Fargo Public Schools will work within the parameters of Social Distancing Guidelines to create meaningful experiences for our seniors,” Superintendent Rupak Gandhi said in a letter posted Monday, May 4, on the district’s website.
Virtual graduation ceremonies will be conducted May 21 for the Adult Learning Center, May 29 for Woodrow Wilson High School and May 31 for Fargo Davies, Fargo North and Fargo South high schools.
Davies, North and South have physical graduation celebrations planned for July 25, with Woodrow Wilson's on July 24 and the Adult Learning Center's GED graduation on July 23.
West Fargo Public Schools says it is waiting for guidance from the state regarding graduation guidelines before announcing a concrete plan, but that it will definitely have some way of honoring graduating seniors on the weekend of May 29-31.
Moorhead Public Schools says it has planned multiple scenarios to honor its graduating senior class, but officials are awaiting guidance from the state of Minnesota on how exactly to proceed.
If CDC guidelines change to allow large gatherings prior to the graduation days in May, Gandhi said Fargo could explore the option to hold a physical graduation ceremony on those days. Specific details regarding the planned virtual and physical graduations will be forthcoming from the schools and the school district, according to Gandhi's update.
“As we wrap the remaining eighteen days of instruction left in 2019-2020 school year, I ask for your continued support with distance learning for our students,” Gandhi continued in his letter. “I know that our students and staff are hitting their stride with the current instructional delivery model, so let’s finish the year strong. Fargo Public Schools will continue to communicate information regarding the end of the school year as soon as we can.”