Fresno Unified committed to in-person graduation ceremonies ‘no matter when that might be’


FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – Fresno Unified high school graduations in June will be held virtually, Superintendent Bob Nelson said Monday.

However, he also promised that in-person graduations will still happen.

“We are still absolutely committed to providing an in-person opportunity for you to walk across the stage whenever it’s safe to gather in large groups again, no matter when that might be, we will do that,” Nelson said.

Gloria Cervantez, a senior at Duncan Polytechnical High School, said she was disappointed to hear her graduation will be virtual – but also understands why.

“It’s for our safety, we need to understand that no matter what, we’re all going to have to be in this together.”

At the same time, Cervantez said she recognizes that while they are the Class of 2020, they are also the class of firsts.

“We’re actually going to be, not a legendary class, but we’re going to be remembered as to what was going on,” Cervantez said.

Nelson also said in his virtual press conference that the Class of 2020 will be one to remember.

“The remarkable class of 2020, you will definitely go down in memory as the class who did it differently, there is no doubt,” he said.

Although the ceremonies will be virtual, Nelson said they will still include the recognition of all seniors, speeches from Nelson and the school principal, and even the ceremonial turning of the tassel.

He said specific dates and times for those ceremonies will be announced by May 15.

The district also revealed that summer school will be online.

“We are just not in that place yet to safely gather together in a classroom,” said Keshia Thomas, the Fresno Unified school board president.

As the district plans for the fall, Nelson said they’re preparing for potential scenarios.

“We need to be prepared for all possible alternatives, if we need to go to a digital format in the Fall, we can be prepared to do that,” Nelson said.

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