Ever. Always. Strong.
Big Spring students, staff and administration have endured the state-mandated shutdowns with perseverance and are hopeful to help the Class of 2020 celebrate all of their achievements with commencement ceremonies.
District administration announced end-of-year plans for seniors last week, and are moving forward with Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention guidelines in place.
Next week, seniors will receive their caps and gowns. A virtual baccalaureate will begin at 7 p.m. May 31, and a virtual awards ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. June 3. The links for both of those ceremonies will be posted on the district website, https://www.bigspringsd.org.
“The plan is for seniors to pick up their caps and gowns May 27, 28, or 29 in a drive-through process. Students will then come in groups of 10 on June 16, 17 or 18 to be filmed in their caps and gowns walking across the stage and receiving their diplomas. The purpose of this is to create a video of the Class of 2020 graduating for parents and community members,” Principal William August noted. “On Aug. 7, with a rain date of Aug. 8, depending on the status of the county (Green, Yellow or Red), we will have a more traditional ceremony as possible. The district took the suggestions that came from the community through the Thought Exchange, and used them to guide our planning. From this survey, it was clear that the most preferred option was for it to be as close to a traditional experience as possible, even if it needed to be moved to a later date. The district combined these suggestions with the directives from the governor, the State Department of Health, and the CDC to create the plan, with a focus on student safety.”
A parade will also likely be held throughout the borough on Friday, June 5, the day commencement ceremonies were supposed to be held.
“The parade is intended to safely recognize the Class of 2020 and give them the public acknowledgement they so richly deserve,” August noted. “Students will arrive in their vehicles and be arranged by staff into formation and will follow the established parade route through Newville as coordinated by the borough. The plan is to have music playing along the route and to announce the seniors at a specific point in the parade. The parade is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. My thanks go out to Mr. Scott Penner and the Newville Borough for working to put this event on.”
Penner, president of Newville Borough Council, said the parade still needs to be approved by the board, and it will be discussed at the May 26 meeting.
“A special thank you to our seniors for their perseverance and grit,” Superintendent Dr. Richard Fry noted in a video posted on the district’s website Saturday. “They are fantastic representatives of what it means to be a Bulldog. Also, to those that participated in our Thought Exchange, as it helped to inform planning for these opportunities to honor our graduates.”
Fry also noted the district has taken many steps to safely honor all students during these unprecedented times.
“During this time of social distancing, please know our default will never be to cancel all events. If we aren’t able to honor our students in person, we try our best to create a virtual method to honor them.”
For more information on the close of the school year and the start of school in the fall, visit the district’s website: https://www.bigspringsd.org.