JHS graduation -- diplomas (copy)

Jordan High School graduation is traditionally held outdoors at Ames Field.

The Jordan High School Class of 2020 may drive instead of "walk," as high school administration prepares plans for a drive-thru diploma ceremony May 30.

The three-hour ceremony is expected to take cars through a route similar to the high school's pick-up and drop-off loop, Superintendent Matt Helgerson said at a May 11 school board meeting.

"Students would be able to arrive, get out of their vehicle, come across the stage that would be set up in front of the high school and receive their diploma," Helgerson said.

The unconventional ceremony would be a far cry from the traditional Jordan commencement ceremony typically held at Ames Field, but JHS Principal Jeff Vizenor said the administration — despite mounting uncertainty and shifting guidelines — has done their best to avoid a virtual program.

"It's been a frustrating, weird experience as we go through all these pieces," Vizenor said. "We've had multiple plans and multiple discussions and slowly as (Minnesota Department of Education) has given out their guidance — which in my own opinion has been a little late — we've been able to adjust on the fly."

Administration is confident the plan fits state guidelines released May 8, but the district will still seek clearance from the Jordan Police Department. Helgerson said it's likely the school will need to assistance from police in order to enforce social distancing.

"I would feel most comfortable by having their assistance anyway, it's going to be difficult to control," Helgerson said.

In order to bring the ceremony to family and friends, the district plans to produce a virtual graduation ceremony video that will be broadcast on YouTube that same evening, listing students' names and honors.

Plans are still subject to change, however, as state officials continue to re-evaluate guidelines. Despite any potential changes in the future, JHS administration said they plan to do everything they can to provide a meaningful ceremony for the 2020 graduates.

"I think we're going to make a great commencement out of a tough situation," Vizenor said. "It really comes down to celebrating our kids' 13 years of hard work — it's just going to look different than we normally have had it, which is unfortunate but I'm confident that we can do a great job of it and celebrate our kids."


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