Delano high school board approves to hold in-person graduations; students express excitement

May 28, 2020 /

The Delano Joint Union High School District Board of Trustees approved at a special board meeting Tuesday to hold in-person graduation ceremonies this summer for the class of 2020.

The board approved the decision with a 3-2 vote.

“We do what we can to provide our seniors with a memorable experience,” said Lionel Reyna, the board president. “Graduation comes with the main goal of sending seniors on the journey of their life. With that being said, I am fully in favor of holding in-person graduation at a later date.”

The district received many requests from parents and students asking for in-person graduation ceremonies. These requests, read during the public comment portion of the meeting, offered suggestions on how residents can use safety precautions during the pandemic at ceremonies.

One rule the board will implement is limiting guests to two guests per student.

“(I have) 100 percent confidence in our district’s ability to hold a safe, permissible and memorable experience for our kids,” Reyna said.

Carlos Zepeda, Senior at Cesar E Chavez High School, said although he is sad his whole family won’t be able to attend his graduation ceremony, he is happy he gets to walk the stage.

“It’s understandable with our current circumstances,” said Zepeda. “(I am) fine with the board’s decision, since a limited graduation is better than none at all. It also allows us to say are proper goodbyes to our teachers and peers.”

Nereyda Rojas, Senior at Delano High School, said she is understanding of the decision the board made, although she is bummed her graduation ceremony won’t be for another month.

“(I am) happy with the decision because it shows that (the board)cares about their students and are willing to make a difference while taking precautions,” said Rojas.

Although the board voted to hold in-person ceremonies, Reyna said it is not guaranteed it will happen with things changing rapidly regarding the pandemic; however, the board will continue to monitor state and local
guidelines moving forward.

The district released the tentative graduation dates Wednesday. The dates are tentatively set for July 8-10.

“The scheduling of this event may be modified contingent upon State and County Guidelines,” read a flyer released by the district.

The flyer also included information for a virtual celebration for each high school, which will take place on the original graduation dates.

The ceremonies will be broadcasted via the Districts YouTube Chanel.

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Parneet Sahota

Parneet is a youth reporter for South Kern Sol. She is part of South Kern Sol's Delano branch.