Reedley High School finding new way to honor class of 2020

REEDLEY, Calif. (KFSN) -- High School seniors have been looking forward to hearing their name called on graduation night, but because of the global pandemic, that experience seemed like it may not happen for Reedley High's class of 2020.

"During this whole COVID, I thought we weren't going to have anything, maybe just send the diploma through the mail," says Melissa Camargo.

Administrators didn't want the class of 2020 to graduate without being recognized, so they came up with a plan to record a video of every senior walking across the stage and celebrate with their families.

The district will edit the footage down, so it looks like one seamless ceremony. Call it the next best thing to holding a traditional graduation.

"They deserve a huge celebration, so we're trying to make it memorable with music and to feel good and celebrate and honor all their dedication to their studies," says Reedley High Principal John Ahlin.

The virtual ceremony will still feature many of the same traditions associated with typical graduations, and the best part is the video is free to families.

"No cost to our students," says Renee Delport with the Kings Canyon Unified School District. "Obviously the district is absorbing the cost of the video, but it is not exceeding what we would typically spend on a graduation."

The process of getting nearly 400 students on camera begins in the school parking lot. Every visitor is screened before they are allowed in.

From there, social distancing practices are implemented while staff wipes down and disinfects areas of the auditorium.

"We have taken every precaution that we can think to take to maintain the integrity of all of the health requirements and guidelines," Delport said.

The district will produce and edit the video and provide a link for each family on May 28, which would've been graduation night.
Copyright © 2020 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.