School District of Philadelphia to Honor Class of 2020 With Virtual Graduation Ceremony
A high school graduation is a rite of passage that students and their families look forward to, a time-honored tradition celebrating the accomplishments of the past while wishing students the best as they embark on their future endeavors. And while the COVID-19 pandemic prevents large gatherings, the School District of Philadelphia is forging ahead with plans to hold a virtual graduation ceremony to recognize and celebrate graduating seniors from District , alternative education and charter schools.
The ceremony, which will take place on Tuesday, June 9 at 11 a.m., will feature remarks from Superintendent William R. Hite, Jr., Ed.D., Philadelphia Mayor James F. Kenney, select student leaders and a special keynote speaker. The one-hour event, which will be streamed live across numerous platforms, including the District’s website, Comcast Xfinity (Channel 52), and Verizon Fios (Channel 20), will also include The Philadelphia Orchestra’s latest performance of Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance No. 1.
“Everyone at the School District of Philadelphia and throughout the city understands that the last few months have been full of unexpected challenges and disappointment, especially for our high school seniors,” said Dr. Hite. “Our virtual graduation ceremony and supporting activities are not the milestone celebrations any of us imagined, but it says a lot that so many people, including government officials, business leaders, entertainers and athletes, are rallying behind the Class of 2020 to show them just how much they are cared for.
“We are extremely proud of all of our seniors and the hard work they’ve put in over the years,” Dr. Hite continued. “Graduating high school is a wonderful accomplishment and we are excited to acknowledge this remarkable class and wish them all the best as they begin the next chapter of their lives.”
In addition to the virtual graduation, several activities are planned to honor the District’s Class of 2020, including a 90-minute, live-streamed dance party. The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, which has been working with the Fund for the School District of Philadelphia to coordinate the event, will serve as the official virtual host. Also taking place on Tuesday, June 9, the afterparty will feature music by Philadelphia native DJ Aktive and a performance by R&B group Good Girl. A social media campaign featuring well-wishes from the likes of DJ Diplo and National Football League players Rodney McCleod and Malcolm Jenkins, is another way the District is working with others to show support for the Class of 2020.
“The Kimmel Cultural Campus traditionally hosts thousands of graduates each year on our stages. Although our physical doors are closed due to COVID 19, we are thrilled to be able to give this gift to the deserving class of 2020, and we are honored to activate our virtual stages for such a good cause,” says Anne Ewers, President & CEO of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. “While these are uncertain times, there is one thing that we are certain about – we want and need to honor the incredible hard work and accomplishments of our graduating seniors and this party will be one way to demonstrate how proud we are of each one of them.”
For more information about the virtual graduation and other Class of 2020 celebratory events, please visit philasd.org/2020grad.