Administration requesting virtual feedback shows acknowledgement

Google Hangouts meetings provide opportunity for student, parent opinions


Ruthie Posada

As a result of Gov. Tim Walz announcing that schools will remain closed for the remainder of the school year, the question of if Graduation will be held on its original date of June 2 came into play.

Not wanting to completely cancel the event altogether, several Park administrators took to Google Hangouts to hold virtual meetings asking students and parents what they thought were the most valuable aspects to prioritize in the ceremony.

I am grateful to the administration for holding these virtual meetings and recognizing the opinions of the students and their families. Although there are many factors regarding Graduation that are out of our control, as a senior myself, I appreciated being openly asked for feedback. 

With many questions, concerns and ideas being thrown out during the virtual sessions, new perspectives and considerations began to form. This includes the idea of potentially postponing Graduation to the summer, which could result in some issues with attendance, as some students may be traveling, working or already starting the next chapter of their lives elsewhere. Also, it’s still unknown if COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted by the postponed date. Other solutions that were brought up included finding a larger location to hold the ceremony to better social distance, as well as limiting the amount of guest tickets per student to reduce the number of attendees. 

The most important factor I took away after seeing the comments from seniors and listening in with my parents on one of the parent sessions was that the most crucial aspect of Graduation was preserving the experience of an in-person ceremony. This I understood completely, seeing as though many of us students have grown up with each other and this would be our final send-off. The largest amount of backlash came from the mention of a virtual Graduation, which seemed to be the most disliked idea on all sides of the spectrum. This gave me a sense of relief because I couldn’t possibly imagine graduating virtually.

Although it is still unknown what decisions will be made regarding Graduation, I am grateful to the administrators who held the virtual meetings for truly showing their understanding and assuring that every voice will be heard and considered in deciding what Graduation 2020 will look like.

Something I told myself when quarantine began and events started getting cancelled was that the one thing I wanted to be preserved most was Graduation. After going through over 12 years of schooling, it’s safe to say that the class of 2020 deserves the closure of a Graduation ceremony to complete this chapter and begin the rest of our lives.