Class of 2021 Graduation Ceremony Update


Jordyn Bew, Entertainment Editor

The time that all high school students work towards is coming up: graduation. Due to the global pandemic we’re currently dealing with, this year’s ceremony will be different than any others. Understanding the milestone that graduation ceremonies represent in the lives of students and families, the Illinois State Board of Education and Illinois Department of Public Health have provided updated guidance for schools to consider when navigating these concerns at the local level.

On March 5, JTHS sent out a letter to students’ parents regarding graduation concerns. Based on the guidelines put in place by the IDPH, the current plan is to hold multiple ceremonies with groups of 50 students over the course of two days in May. 

The school is planning to record a virtual graduation that would include all of the speeches and all the graduate names with pictures and an in-person diploma presentation. At the moment the idea is to use the football stadium for smaller groups of families and students.

 With the current guidelines, there is a 500 guest limit. There has been a recent change in guidance and a meeting will take place on March 26 to finalize the graduation draft. 

When speaking with Joliet West principal Dr. Gibson about the number of guests allowed to attend she stated, “With the limit to 500 spectators, we will likely limit tickets to 4 per graduate. This is what we do for our regular in field house graduation.” 

Though this year we may be experiencing a new and different kind of ceremony, it’s best to be grateful for the opportunity to walk the stage in front of our family and friends again, a privilege that the class of 2020 did not have. The next two months may seem long or even impossible to get through, but continue trying your best because the feeling of grabbing your diploma will make it all worth it.