Class of 2020: Logan High School holds tight to traditions as they navigate graduation plans
Editor’s note: This is part of a series on graduation in Cache Valley during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through a myriad of plans, Logan High School officials are trying to incorporate as many traditions as they can to give high school seniors an experience to rival a pandemic-free year.
Graduation plans were presented to the Logan City School District Board of Education on Tuesday evening. The goal is to include a week’s worth of events to celebrate the graduating seniors.
LHS Principal Kenneth Auld said preceding the adjusted graduation ceremony, the school will still hold the traditional “L” Banquet at the beginning of the week with a video of guest and student speakers along with a compilation of memories over the four years of high school.
The “L” Banquet is held in the spring of each year to honor those seniors who have actively participated at Logan High School.
“We are trying to maintain the tradition, even though it might look different than sitting in a banquet hall,” Auld said.
Tradition is a guiding factor for the graduation ceremony as well. While many administrators are holding out hope for a traditional ceremony in June or July, the plan that is most feasible under the current restriction will take four days to complete.
Logan City School District Superintendent Frank Schofield said they are planning on bringing families into the school by last name, spaced out by appointment, and allow the students to walk across the stage in full graduation attire to receive their diplomas.
“We will be able to move families in and out of the school while maintaining social distancing guidelines, but they will still have the opportunity to have a personalized graduation experience that they can remember forever,” Schofield said.
Schofield said that making sure families were included in the celebration was really important when coming up with a plan, especially considering the school’s many first-generation graduates.
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“This whole situation is just not great, obviously, and I hadn’t been feeling too hot about it but then they presented this plan and I actually got really excited and felt a lot better about it,” said LHS Studentbody President Alex Rasmussen during the virtual school board meeting. “I believe that it meets what our students at Logan High want as well as keeping health concerns in mind and making sure that everyone leaves healthy and satisfied.”
Auld said they are planning to have 500 masks made for the event, in Logan High black and crimson. Teachers will escort the families in and out of the building, leading them to an area for individual and family photos.
The number of guest tickets each student receives will be determined by the state health guidelines about group gatherings at that point. But for now, each student will be allowed seven guests.
With 322 students in the graduating class, Auld said this individual ceremony setup will take eight hours a day for four days to complete. They hope to either livestream the event or record it for those who cannot attend.
At the end of the multi-day salute to graduates, LHS Assistant Principal Eric Markworth said they will conclude with a continuation the traditional candlelight celebration.
On the evening of May 29, teachers will line 100 South holding candles as families drive by around the block. After dropping off the caps and gowns, families will head back to the west parking lot and wait for a firework show, which was just approved by the city on Tuesday, according to Markworth.
“Our students are doing everything they can to maintain traditions,” Auld said. “And we are trying our best to make it happen.”
More details about the logistics of each of the graduation events will be sent out to families as plans are finalized.
“We want a grand sendoff and a tender goodbye, and right now we are really searching for a sense of normalcy and that is pretty obvious,” Rasmussen said, “but me and other students just want to experience something similar to that experience of the other graduating classes of Logan High.”
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