One day after announcing Chandler USD would host a virtual graduation, Superintendent Camille Casteel said in an email to families that the district is developing a plan to host a voluntary, in-person graduation ceremony at each high school while still adhering to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

The announcement comes one day after Gov. Doug Ducey gave the green light for salons and barber shops to open May 8 and dine-in services at restaurants to resume May 11.

"Subsequent to the District decision to cancel onsite graduation ceremonies, the Governor announced his decision to accelerate plans to reopen Arizona," read the message from Casteel. "The Governor’s decision opened the door for CUSD to revisit the idea of providing a more traditional graduation experience for our 2020 seniors."

Casteel said the structure of the event would be modified to prioritize the health and safety of students.

"We are working closely with State officials as we put measures in place to minimize exposure, based upon the most up-to-date information," Casteel said. "Students would be seated six feet apart on the field and may be wearing masks. The ceremony will be live-streamed to allow guests to see the graduates accept their diploma. We may be able to accommodate a limited audience; however, that decision will be made as more information is available."


The goal of the district is to schedule ceremonies no later than the first week of June.

"We understand these are difficult times, so we appreciate your patience as our plans remain fluid and based on the State’s future guidance," Casteel said.

Casteel said the district will send an update by May 15, the day the stay-at-home order is expected to expire.

"The virtual ceremony will still serve as the official graduation, as we understand a number of students or families may choose not to participate in person," Casteel said.