Class of 2020 General Graduation Information

  • What are the graduation guidelines?

    Due to the extension of the statewide stay at home order through May, the May 23, 2020 Commencement is officially postponed. 

    What We Can and Will Do For Sure- Virtual Commencement Celebration 

    The district is investigating several options for Graduation. The option we have available to us for certain is a Virtual Commencement Celebration. This way, if we are unable to hold a traditional commencement, our seniors will have some form of recognition for their four years of hard work. 

    The virtual celebration will be live streamed for graduates and families to view at home. It involves no in-person interaction and no awarding of diplomas, in person. The plan is:  

    • A pre-recorded ceremony that includes as many elements of the real commencement as possible, including: 
      • Performance of the Star Spangled Banner by a graduate; 
      • Welcome address by the Principal 
      • Student remarks by three graduates 
      • Farewell address by the Superintendent 
      • Certification of the Class of 2020 by the Board of Education
      • A slide show of graduates’ photos in caps and gowns 
      • Senior tributes from parents scrolling on screen throughout the ceremony 

    Other notes:  

    • Graduates who did not take a cap and gown photo earlier this year will be notified of a date in the next two weeks to have a photo taken at the school for inclusion in the video 
    • All families will receive a copy of the video as a keepsake, and a Commencement program. 
    • Forms for families to submit Senior Tributes is in a separate document. Parents should follow the link they were emailed. The deadline is May 8th. Please submit only one per graduate.

    Dependent on Government Permission- Live Commencement Options 

    Currently the district is investigating three options for an in-person Commencement. We are planning every detail to make each of these special for our graduates and their families, but please keep in mind that it’s possible we may not be allowed to do any of them. Options, below, are in order of the most complete Commencement experience.  

    Option 1. Full Commencement at UIC: The district has reserved August 3, 4, 5 and 6 at UIC as alternate dates for Commencement. We have reserved four dates in case it would be necessary to split the graduating class for each school in half to get permission to hold the event. Keep in mind, Morton East’s graduating class is over 1,000 students, and Morton West’s is nearly 900. We selected these dates based on availability of the venue, and to give as much time as possible for restrictions on gatherings to be reduced. Details on which date your child would attend, and the time of the ceremony, would be provided at a later date. Please prepare for the possibility that we may be required to limit, or even exclude, guests attending in person. We plan to live stream the ceremonies for family members who would not be able to attend. 

    Option 2. Alternative Commencement at a Local Venue To Be Determined: The district is investigating a few variations to hold Commencement on a date between August 3-6 if UIC is not an allowable option. For example, we might hold Commencement on campus with smaller groups and/or with limited, or, if necessary to get permission to hold the event, no guests. Other variations are also under consideration. Any variations would make every effort to include all aspects of a full Commencement. 

    Option 3. Walk-Up or Drive-Through Awarding of Diplomas: If gatherings of any size for Commencement are simply not permitted of us, we would schedule dates and times during the week of June 22nd for students in caps and gowns, and their families, to come to the campuses to receive diplomas, individually. This would include the awarding of diplomas to students on stage, or in their vehicles. If we must implement the drive-through option, we would provide backdrops outside the schools for families to take cap and gown photos. 

    Other notes: 

    • Senior fees must be paid to pick up caps and gowns. Details will be provided by the schools.  
    • Be prepared to be flexible on the number of attendees allowed at any of these options. 
    • We expect to make a decision by June 6th on which option we will implement, but, like everything else, this could change depending on the circumstances.  

    Request for Your Input 

    A survey for seniors can be found here. It asks for your input on some questions regarding Prom and Commencement. Please discuss the questions as a family before responding. Keep in mind that the questions take into consideration restrictions that could be placed upon the district by government or health officials in order to get permission to hold the events, at all.