May 4, 2020
Dear Class of 2020 Bulldog Students & Families:
We know everyone has been anxiously awaiting commencement plans and truly appreciate all of the conversations and email exchanges that have been taking place on this important topic. Ensuring that we explore every available option to honor the Bulldog Class of 2020 continues to be a top priority. We know no solution will replace the traditional graduation ceremony that we had all planned to attend. However, we will work to make this significant event special as we honor this outstanding class and their achievements.
We are emailing this evening to share with you where the planning stands as of today. We had an opportunity to review the general plans with our Seniors during this afternoon’s virtual class meeting sessions. Please review the following information carefully as this email contains important dates that you will want to make note of relating to commencement activities.
We want to start by saying right up front that if we have the legal ability to safely bring the Class of 2020 together for an in-person commencement ceremony, following social distancing guidelines, that is our primary preference and that would be the way we would ultimately proceed, if permitted. Our current intention is to proceed simultaneously down two planning paths to leave the option of an in-person commencement gathering open until the last possible moment.
Our intent is to hold the Class of 2020 Commencement on Wednesday, June 17th, with the exact location and time of our commencement gathering being dependent on the current status of the Governor’s orders at that time. Location A will be the Aut-O-Rama Drive-In in North Ridgeville; with alternative Location B being our Vitamix Field at Charles A. Harding Stadium. Please read on for further details.
First, all seniors need to mark your calendars for Cap, Gown and Cord Pick-Up May 26th:
Cap, Gown & Cord Pick Up (Drive Thru)
Tuesday, May 26th
4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Cap, Gown, and Cord Pickup is scheduled for May 26th from 4:00 PM-6:00 PM in front of the High School. Jostens company representatives will be present to help us distribute. Only seniors or their family members will be allowed to pick up items. Friends can not get items for each other. We want to ensure we are working directly with students and their families to make sure all items are correct and given to the right people. Following are instructions for Cap, Gown & Cord Pick Up:
Enter the High School main entrance driveway.
Pull into the front of the building using the bus loop near the front entrance to the school.
Please remain in your vehicles to allow us to follow social distancing protocols.
We will have people standing along the curb to greet you as you pull forward in the bus loop.
Runners will bring your items directly to your vehicle.
Check to ensure you have the right size gown/cap that you ordered and all your cords (if applicable).
Exit using the BOE entrance.
Plan for Location A: Aut-O-Rama Drive-In Theatre in North Ridgeville
Wednesday, June 17, 2020 (Evening event, exact timing to be determined)
A plan for holding the OFHS Class of 2020 Commencement gathering at the Aut-O-Rama Drive-In Theatre in North Ridgeville has been officially approved by the Lorain County Board of Health. This event would begin with OFHS graduate cars arriving at Olmsted Falls High School parking lot to line up and prepare for an organized “car parade” from the high school to the Aut-O-Rama. Additional details and specific instructions will be provided to Class of 2020 families as the event approaches. Please note that there may be some restrictions relating to the overall number of vehicles and social distancing requirements on-site at the Aut-O-Rama. The Aut-O-Rama will be able to accommodate at least one vehicle per graduate as well as vehicles of administration and staff.
Once at the Aut-O-Rama, a special screening of the OFHS Class of 2020 Commencement will be shown. The screening will feature traditional greetings, addresses and student speeches along with video of each graduate walking across the OFHS auditorium stage receiving their diploma. All of these elements will be pre-recorded including individual diploma presentations. This special screening will also be live-streamed and can be viewed remotely by friends and family not able to attend.
This week, every graduating senior in the OFHS Class of 2020 will receive a personalized email with an assigned date and time for the individual diploma presentation taking place at OFHS Auditorium. These individual diploma presentations will take place over the course of four days: May 30 & 31 and June 1 & 2. Please watch your email closely to receive further instructions and the assigned date/time for your senior. A limited number of family members will be allowed to enter the auditorium with their graduate, following limitations based on current social distancing requirements. Assigned date/time will be made alphabetically. If your assigned date/time does not work, please follow instructions in the email for rescheduling.
Plan for Location B: Vitamix Field at Charles A. Harding Stadium
Wednesday, June 17, 2020 (Exact timing to be determined)
As mentioned at the beginning of this email, we are actively working on logistical plans for two location options in order to do everything in our power to give our Class of 2020 Bulldogs an opportunity for an in-person graduation, where they can come together as a group one final time. If the Governor’s orders in effect on June 17, 2020 allow, we would hold an in-person graduation in our Vitamix Field at Charles A. Harding Stadium - strictly following all required social distancing guidelines (including properly distanced seating, wearing of masks, organized entry & exit, etc.). This event would replace the Aut-O-Rama location event outlined above.
An in-person event at Vitamix Field at Charles A. Harding Stadium would likely include limitations to the number of guests physically joining graduates inside the stadium (likely 4 per graduate). A live broadcast of the potential stadium event would also occur. Additional details and specific instructions will be provided to Class of 2020 families as planning continues.
When Will We Know?
A decision will be made as to Location A (Aut-O-Rama) or Location B (OFHS Stadium) as soon as possible based on the latest status of the Governor’s orders come early June.
We are committed to keeping our senior families informed with additional details and information as it becomes available. If you have any questions in the meantime, please reach out to Mr. Spagnola via email at email@example.com or via phone message at (440) 427-6100.
In closing, here is a summary of the important dates covered in this email that we’d ask you mark in your calendar:
Gap, Gown & Cord Pick-up (Drive thru from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.)
May 30, May 31, June 1 or June 2
Individual Diploma Presentations (Individual date/time to be assigned later this week)
Commencement Event (Either at Aut-o-rama or Vitamix Field at Charles A. Harding Stadium; time TBD)
We appreciate the collaboration that has occured on many fronts and will do whatever is in our power to provide a memorable experience for our graduates and their families. Please continue to take care of yourselves and one another.
Jim & Leo
Jim Lloyd, Ed.D.
Olmsted Falls City School District
Olmsted Falls High School