Shawnee Mission School District cancels in-person graduation ceremonies

Shawnee Mission will not hold in-person graduation ceremonies for this year's seniors. File photo.

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The Shawnee Mission School District today informed the families of the class of 2020 that it was canceling the in-person graduation ceremonies it had tentatively scheduled for next week.

The district announced in April that it was postponing its previously scheduled May graduations on account of the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders in effect in Johnson County and would replace them with either an in-person or video ceremonies in July.

As of last week, the district had been preparing to host ceremonies in-person July 14, 15 and 16. But with concern about the risk of coronavirus transmission lingering, the district announced today it would hold video ceremonies instead.

“Using the best information we have, for the health and safety of our students, family and staff, we have decided to cancel our in person ceremonies…” reads a message from district administrators. “As administrators in Shawnee Mission, this was a very difficult decision, but with all the information and guidance about large in-person gatherings and the increase risk of spreading the virus, it is the best decision for our community.”

The district will broadcast virtual graduation ceremonies at the following times:

  • SM East: 8 p.m. July 14
  • SM South: 8 p.m., July 14
  • SM North: 8 p.m., July 15
  • SM West: 8 p.m., July 15
  • SM Northwest: 8 p.m., July 16
  • Arrowhead: 6 p.m., July 16
  • Horizons: 8 p.m., July 16

The district will posts link to the webcasts of each ceremony on its website.