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Academy District 20 developing in-person graduation plans

Back-up virtual option also being developed
Academy District 20 D20 ASD20
Posted at 6:19 PM, Apr 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-24 22:27:28-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Academy District 20 said in its weekly eNewsletter Friday it is working on two plans for in-person ceremonies for 2020 graduates.

After announcing Monday in-person learning was suspended for the rest of the school year, Governor Jared Polis spoke with superintendents from across the state, telling them he was granting county officials authority to approve proposed graduation plans.

District 20 Superintendant Tom Gregory said input from students and their families made it clear the community wants an in-person ceremony, even if it is delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

ASD20 is developing two in-person graduation options to submit to El Paso County Public Health for approval.

One plan is similar to the Air Force Academy ceremony held last week, and the second would allow limited family members to accompany the graduate during the ceremony.

El Paso County Public Health requires that a back-up virtual option also be in place.

ASD20 said it plans to submit its proposals in the coming days, and expects to receive further guidance on how to proceed from the county in about two weeks.

Due to the time frame for this process, the district also proposed scheduling graduations between June 20-26 to allow all seven ceremonies to take place at outdoor venues.

The district said these plans are the closest it can get to achieving a ceremony "as normal as possible" while also meeting health and safety requirements.

District officials said they are also planning how students and staff can pick up and return items to school buildings.

School principals and administrators are creating plans that adhere to guidelines while keeping students and teachers, as well as the community, safe.

Families can expect details on those plans in May.