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FWCS: Traditional Graduation Ceremonies Canceled; Virtual Commencement Planned

After much consideration, Fort Wayne Community Schools has determined the traditional graduation ceremonies will not be able to take place for the Class of 2020. FWCS will instead honor the graduates with the production of virtual commencement ceremonies using pictures of each of the members of the Class of 2020.

“After exploring numerous options to make an in-person ceremony possible, we have come to the conclusion for the safety of our students, parents and staff, that we will not be able to celebrate in person,” Superintendent Dr. Wendy Robinson said. “This decision is heartbreaking for us and our 2,070 seniors.”

Schools will distribute caps, gowns and other graduation materials over the next two weeks according to the following schedule. Students will receive additional information on what time they should attend the pick-up at school to stagger arrivals.

Seniors can pick up their materials at assigned times from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.:

• Tuesday, May 12, South Side High School

• Thursday, May 14, Snider High School

• Friday, May 15, Northrop High School

• Tuesday, May 19, Wayne High School

• Wednesday, May 20, North Side High School

During the material pick-up, all seniors will receive a yard sign designating their status as a member of the Class of 2020 with their high school logo, as well as a cap and gown. A professional photographer will be present to take individual pictures of the seniors for the virtual graduation.

Diplomas and awards will be distributed to seniors in a drive-through event to take place on the schools’ already scheduled graduation dates June 4-6. Details are being finalized and will be shared when ready.

“Nothing can replace the milestones missed by these seniors, but we hope our graduates can make their own special memories and know that we are thinking of them during this time,” Dr. Robinson said. “We know they will go on to become successful in their future endeavors, and this experience will only make them stronger.”

With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.