Good morning, OHS Parents and Students.
We want to try to provide updates related to some of the major spring high school events. The high level of uncertainty about where we will be in a month or two makes decisions challenging, yet, we want to provide as much information as possible so our students and their families can plan accordingly.
We are officially cancelling Prom and the Senior Banquet. Prom is scheduled for May 9th, about a month away, and we do not predict the social distancing rules being eased to the degree necessary in that time span. High school dances and social distancing are not compatible, and we believe a decision to cancel is the best approach to keep our students safe. Both Prom and Senior Banquet involve cancelling our reservations for the halls and DJ’s/Hypnotist in a timely manner so we feel a decision now is necessary.
As a school, we are committed to doing everything possible to hold our Commencement Ceremony. It is important to us and our seniors. At this time, we have a multiple phase plan. Our primary plan will be to hold the Commencement Ceremony as scheduled on Sunday, June 7th at 3:00 pm on our football field. We have concluded that holding commencement outside provides the safest option for some social distancing while still accommodating a reasonable number of guests. If we were to have the ceremony in the gym, it is likely we would have to dramatically restrict guests and that is undesirable. Of course it is possible that the public health crisis restrictions will not allow us to have even an outdoor Commencement Ceremony on June 7th. The pandemic realities may not ease by that time, and therefore, it may not be safe or appropriate to have this sort of large gathering in early June. If that is the case, our secondary plan would be to delay the outside ceremony until later in June and hope for some easing of restrictions. If we find we cannot safely have a Commencement Ceremony at all in June, we will re-evaluate our plans and communicate any new direction with stakeholders. If we are able to move forward and hold our Commencement Ceremony on June 7th, graduates will be required to attend a practice session on Friday, June 5th at 10:00 am on the football field.
At this time, we have not made decisions about the Senior Fry/Picnic, or our Scholarship program. We have the ability to delay this decision until we have additional information about the status of the public health situation and what our realities will be in early June.
Please understand that as a school and faculty, we want to do everything we can to honor and say goodbye to our seniors. Our seniors have lost so much this spring, and we genuinely want to salvage what we can of their high school ending celebrations. That being said, we are committed first and foremost to the health of our students and their families. We will not hold any gathering or event that will jeopardize safety. It is not our intent to get anyone’s hopes up with this message only to be disappointed later, we simply want to share our planning around these significant milestone events.
We miss all of our students, but feel a particularly strong sense of separation from our seniors, and want to honor each of you in these challenging times.
Scott and Kevin