Chandler USD Superintendent Camille Casteel announced in an email to students and families May 4 that the district will cancel in-person graduations and will instead create a virtual graduation for each high school.
"Our 2020 graduates are a unique and an incredibly accomplished group of young people," read the email. "They have achieved so much and have been a source of great pride to the entire community. While this school year is ending under the unprecedented circumstances surrounding COVID-19, thank you for the patience you have shown us as we all navigate the uncharted waters together. When the Governor announced the continuation of 'Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected' on April 29th, we determined that holding traditional graduation ceremonies would not be feasible."
Casteel said the virtual ceremonies would be "professional quality" and would be streamed at the date and time graduation was originally scheduled and archived on various sites—including the district's YouTube page—for future viewing. Photos of the graduates will be shown as their name is read and student speeches and administrator comments will be included. Additionally, graduation programs will be produced and provided to the graduates. The distribution of diplomas and yearbooks and other details will be communicated from school leaders in the days ahead, Casteel said.
"We share the pervasive disappointment that our graduates will not be able to participate in a traditional ceremony," Casteel said. "We ask you to join us in honoring your graduating senior’s accomplishments and perseverance to achieve the goal of a high school diploma. While we do not get to choose the times we live in, it is our hope that the successful struggle through this adversity will help us all emerge stronger to face any obstacle on the road ahead."