bourbonnais

Suburban Chicago High School Holds Unique Graduation Ceremony

The ceremony is one of the first of its kind as school officials prioritize social distancing

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Students walked across the stage in an empty auditorium at Bradley Bourbonnais Community High School on Wednesday, participating in a high school graduation in the age of social distancing.

“Even if it’s not what we expected, we still got to walk across the stage and put our gowns and caps on,” said graduate Rylie Kurtz.

The Illinois Department of Health and Illinois State Board of Education recently announced decisions around whether to host safe and socially distanced graduation ceremonies will remain at the discretion of local school boards and superintendents.

“We want our students to have the opportunity to hear their name called, to walk across a stage and really have the experience to have that rite of passage,” said Dr. Scott Wakeley, BBCHS superintendent.

Throughout Wednesday, students arrived in small groups and waited to be called in to the school.  Their photos were taken before they entered the auditorium, where their names were announced and they walked across the stage.

No more than ten students entered the school at a time. 

Wakeley said more than 400 seniors participated.  He said has since heard from school officials across the region asking how they, too, could hold graduation ceremonies with social distancing.

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