Grand Junction Area Graduation Ceremony Plans Still Not Certain
It seems that a lot of people in the Grand Valley are not too thrilled with the idea of a drive-thru style graduation ceremony.
Mesa County Valley School District 51 has been exploring a number of options for having a graduation ceremony for the area's high school seniors. One of the options receiving much attention was the idea of a drive-thru style ceremony which would allow families to see their graduate receive their diploma while remaining safely socially distant.
The students and families would enter their school parking lot in assigned groups and coming to a central point in front of the school. The student would be greeted by their principal, a school board member, and the superintendent. The principal would say the student's name who would then take their diploma folio of a table with no hand shaking.
According to a letter posted Thursday by Superintendent Diana Sirko, there has been a flood of negative feedback about the drive-thru option. She said they will continue to examine the options and wait until June 22 to make any decisions and make an announcement at that time. You can read the letter in its entirety here.
Sirko emphasized in the letter to parents and students the school district is trying to come up with a satisfactory graduation plan that will be in compliance with guidelines from Mesa County Public Health.
Some of that negative feedback referenced by the superintendent is evident on social media. Facebooker Melissa Hensley commented, "We can congregate in large numbers at Walmart, Home Depot, and grocery stores but somehow, according to Diana Sirko and the school board, it's just not safe to attend a traditional graduation ceremony OUTSIDE on a FOOTBALL FIELD? How does that make any sense??"
Veronica Wade Candelaria commented " I was very disappointed to hear this, and I am sure the kids are disappointed, they worked hard and deserve to walk."
Parents and local residents obviously have some very strong feelings about the situation and are not being shy about expressing their opinions.
There's no question this is a difficult situation to navigate and there's not an easy solution given the present circumstances. With any luck and good fortune in the next few weeks, the COVID-19 situation in Mesa County will continue to hold steady or even decline and the door will be opened to a more traditional graduation for the seniors.
Superintendent Sirko closed her letter by saying "We want to honor our students.......We will do all we can, knowing there may be limitations that are out of our control."
I believe the school district will do everything within its power to give Mesa County seniors the best and most memorable graduation possible.