The exterior of Oswego High School
Credit: OHS Wikipedia webpage.

In an email sent home on May 5, Community Unit School District 308 announced that Oswego and Oswego East High Schools would be hosting modified graduation ceremonies to honor the senior class of 2020. 

The graduation process will occur over the span of three days, taking place on June 16, 17, and 18. Each graduate will be given a specific time between 8 am and 5 pm, where they will arrive at their high school and will hold no more than 10 students at a time. 

These plans come after the Illinois State Board of Education banned all traditional in-person graduation ceremonies indefinitely last month. Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker also released a new phased plan to guide Illinois in reopening earlier this week, and these updated graduation plans follow those guidelines which the governor’s office put out. 

Parents and guests will not be allowed to view the ceremonies, and instead, there will be a livestream that parents, families, and friends can watch from home. A keepsake video containing all speeches and the procession of all students will also be made and will be available for download after the ceremonies.

“I’m heartbroken that I won’t get to celebrate with family or see her friends… graduate until the video comes out,” Heather McKillip, mother of a senior at Oswego East said. “I will say, I’m appreciative the district is still giving the seniors an opportunity to walk their graduation.” 

Each student will walk across the stage in their cap and gown and transfer their tassel as their name is announced. All graduates will also have their photo professionally taken. 

“I feel that it is important to remember that we are lucky enough to have a rescheduled graduation,” Oswego High School senior Emma Signor said. “The new process is not ideal but it is most definitely better than nothing at all.”

More information will be issued over the next few weeks to all seniors and families in regards to returning textbooks, cleaning out lockers, and graduation items pick-up day. For more information on important dates and communication, visit www.sd308.org/2020.

If a senior still needs to order a cap and gown, they can visit https://highschool.herffjones.com/secom/home or call Herf Jones directly at 815-756-4743. 

The email also officially canceled yearly traditions such as prom, senior awards, and the top 10% banquet. Holding these events became impossible after the announcement of the phase plan from Governor Pritzker.

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