Class of 2020 Graduation Plan


April 30, 2020

Dear Seniors,

I want you to know that I think about the Class of 2020 each and every day and ways we can celebrate your achievements despite the pandemic.   We have been working very hard to plan events to recognize and honor the Class of 2020, while staying within the confines of the rules and regulations set forth by the State of Illinois and the Illinois State Board of Education.   Over the last few weeks, our plans have changed several times.  

As a result of the Governor’s shelter-in-place order and directives from the ISBE that were announced yesterday, any type of in-person graduation ceremonies, including drive-through ceremonies, or events where students come to school for a photo/video opportunity, are not allowed at this time.  

However, we STILL plan to create a virtual graduation ceremony to honor the Class of 2020 and hold an actual ceremony in July if current restrictions are lifted.   The plan will allow for the ceremony to remain within the confines of the law while also providing as much continuity to tradition as possible.  

Virtual Graduation Ceremony for the Class of 2020

A video ceremony will air on the Arcola Jr./Sr. High School Facebook Page at 2:00pm on Saturday, May 23rd and be posted to YouTube. Anyone will be able to view the ceremony through those platforms.

  • A virtual graduation ceremony video will be created by having each senior submit photos and videos of themselves.  

  • The photos and videos will be submitted to Kris Bott at the following email address:  If you have any questions about submitting photos or videos please feel free to contact Kris at 217-390-2271.

  • All photos and videos must be submitted by 3:00 on Monday, May 11.

  • The following photos and videos should be submitted:

    • Formal photo of each senior dressed in their cap and gown.  Students should also wear the graduation stoles and appropriate academic cords (NHS, Tri-M, NAHS) with their robes.  The photos should be taken outside or at a place where the background is a plain backdrop.  We do not want “selfies” or pictures taken looking in a mirror.  For this picture the tassel should be on the left as if the senior has already graduated.  

    • Graduation stoles and cords will be delivered the week of May 4.  More information will be provided on pick up of these items.

    • Video of each senior “turning their tassel” from the right to the left. 

    • Video of each senior throwing their cap in the air.

    • 15 second or less video message to share with your class.  Video messages will be approved by the administration in order to be included in the virtual graduation video.

    • Snapshot of your favorite time in high school or any picture of yourself from high school you would like to include. We have several pictures taken by our yearbook staff that can be used.  

  • We will be sharing some example pictures and video clips for the students to use as samples in the next few days in addition to providing additional details about taking and submitting pictures and videos.  Please be sure to check your email and text messages often.

  • The photo and video snippets will be put together into a video graduation presentation that will include the welcome speech, the salutatorian’s speech, the two valedictorian speeches, a musical selection, the senior slideshow, and the conferring of the diplomas.

  • The Video Graduation Presentation will air at 2:00pm on Saturday, May 23rd via the Arcola Jr./Sr. High School Facebook Page and YouTube. 

Traditional Graduation Ceremony for the Class of 2020

If the current restrictions are lifted this summer and we are allowed to host an event, we will make every effort to conduct a traditional graduation ceremony at Arcola High School.  The ceremony will be held on the high school football field and all requirements of social distancing will be maintained throughout the ceremony.  In order to have the maximum amount of time to plan for such an event, the traditional ceremony will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 25, 2020 at Thomas-Bradford Field.

As always, please continue to be safe and practice social distancing. You all have a very bright future ahead of you and we want you to be able to share all of these memories with your own children someday!


Mrs. Sigrist