As a district, we are determined to find a way for the Class of 2020 to celebrate its graduation in person. While some districts are opting now to schedule virtual ceremonies, the feedback we have heard from students and families indicates that there continues to be a strong desire to have the celebration in person even if it is delayed.
While it will not be possible to have graduation on May 30 as scheduled, we are hopeful that as conditions evolve in the months ahead there may be some easing of restrictions on public gatherings that would allow us to hold a graduation ceremony.
We also know that significant physical distancing measures will still be needed. To accomplish this, our plan is to hold an outdoor ceremony in the district’s largest space – Dalzell Field.
To assist families in planning, we have identified Saturday, June 27, as the target date to hold graduation, with a backup date of Saturday, July 25, if we are unable to gather in June. We ask that graduates and families please hold both of these dates in their calendar.
As originally scheduled, the Hempstead graduation will be at 10 a.m. and Dubuque Senior will be at 3 p.m.
Development of a full logistics and safety plan is underway and we are confident that we can safely follow physical distancing guidelines. Each graduate will be given a very limited, specified number of tickets based on seating capacity and physical distancing guidelines at the time. While limited attendance is not what anyone hoped for, we want to do everything we can to honor our graduates with a ceremony and provide families a safe space to join in the celebration.
Given the reduced-capacity setting, we are also working on plans to live stream the ceremony so additional family members may view it.
Our Commitment to Graduates
Students and families of the Class of 2020 will experience graduation under never-before-seen circumstances. While not ideal, we hope you know that the entire Dubuque Community School District, the administration and staff at both Dubuque Senior and Hempstead High Schools, and supporters throughout our community share in a commitment to honoring your accomplishments.
As we look to the months ahead, student and staff safety will continue to be at the forefront of our decision making. We remain hopeful that one of our selected graduation dates will be possible despite the constantly evolving coronavirus situation. At the same time, we will continue to monitor current data and projections. Should conditions significantly change or further prevent gatherings during our established dates, we will discuss alternate virtual options for graduation at that time.