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Southern Oregon schools honor 2020 graduates with socially distant walks, drives, and banners

Graduation for the Class of 2020 will be a little different for every district, but schools are doing their best to send seniors off in style.

Posted: May 28, 2020 5:56 PM
Updated: May 28, 2020 6:01 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. — With Governor Kate Brown's announcement in early April that Oregon schools would remained closed into summer due to the coronavirus, the fate of the graduating Class of 2020 — beyond simply gaining a diploma — was thrown into doubt. The accustomed ceremonies immediately became untenable.


RELATED: NewsWatch 12's Class of 2020 Graduation Photo Wall


Since then, each school district has worked to find a way they can honor their graduating seniors with some measure of pomp and circumstance while still adhering to state social distancing guidelines.

Here are some of the plans announced so far by districts across southern Oregon:


St. Mary's School

St. Mary's Class of 2020 got their graduation parade on May 21. Students and parents decorated their vehicles and drove by the school as seniors arrived to receive their caps and gowns, yearbooks, and gifts.

Medford High School (North, South, & Central)

Medford's graduation ceremonies begin on May 29 with the Grad Drive, visiting schools around the district. The drive is followed by diploma walks on May 30 and June 4, and a virtual tribute to seniors streaming on each school's Facebook page. A larger community celebration is still to be announced.

Grants Pass High School

On Wednesday, GPHS held a modified version of its annual Senior Walk as seniors came to pick up their caps and gowns — signing a stretch of sidewalk on the school campus. Graduation is planned for June 26, but the precise plans are still under consideration as administrators try to plan around continued restrictions on gatherings.

Ashland High School

Ashland will honor its seniors on May 29 with a socially distanced parade around the district, with school staff spaced around the parade route to cheer seniors on. Seniors already picked up their caps and gowns earlier in the month. The parade begins at 6:30 p.m.

Eagle Point High School

EPHS delivered signs to every senior for them to display at home. The school is holding a stripped-down version of a traditional graduation ceremony on June 6, with students walking up to a stage to receive their diplomas. There will also be a "reverse parade" in downtown Eagle Point with seniors standing on the sidewalk while cars drive by to congratulate them, followed by fireworks at the stadium.

Rogue River Junior-Senior High School

RRJSHS has a graduation ceremony planned for June 6 at 10 a.m., beginning with a parade procession from Rogue River Center to the school. This is a "drive-in" graduation where students and families will be in vehicles, but graduates will be able to get out and go up to the stage to receive their diplomas. The event will also be livestreamed for the community to see.

Crater High School

Crater High School's graduation is set for June 3, featuring a community parade from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. and a live broadcast from the football stadium beginning at 8 p.m. The grad ceremony includes live presentations from the the superintendent, school administrators and the Valedictorians — followed by the National Anthem presented by Crater students and then cap and gown pictures of the graduates.

Logos Public Charter School

Logos graduation is set for May 28-29 at the school. About half of the graduating seniors will walk on Thursday and the other half on Friday. Each senior will have time to walk across the stage with their families in attendance.

Glendale High School

The Glendale High School Graduation Parade will be held on June 5. The parade starts at 6:00 p.m. at the high school, travel to the elementary school and then down the main street of Glendale before returning to the high school. The Glendale High School Class of 2020 graduation celebration video will be available for public viewing beginning June 3rd on the district website.


More school graduation plans and stories will be added as NewsWatch 12 receives them.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 154554

Reported Deaths: 2204
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah31785528
Washington21060212
Marion18335285
Clackamas13310175
Lane10172126
Jackson8299111
Umatilla763181
Deschutes591859
Yamhill375964
Linn356556
Malheur334358
Polk302942
Klamath277455
Douglas242853
Benton231816
Josephine231649
Jefferson195028
Coos142519
Union127519
Columbia124321
Wasco122026
Lincoln112820
Hood River106329
Morrow104414
Clatsop7756
Crook77518
Baker6487
Curry4166
Tillamook4122
Lake3746
Harney2726
Grant2221
Wallowa1424
Gilliam531
Sherman530
Wheeler221
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Reported Deaths: 51395
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Los Angeles118754221106
Riverside2891853749
San Bernardino2853342673
Orange2603483889
San Diego2589823260
Santa Clara1098411765
Kern102627811
Fresno947941412
Sacramento929441464
Alameda800881224
Ventura77238834
San Joaquin665691082
Contra Costa62164674
Stanislaus55775944
Tulare47784746
Monterey42138327
San Mateo38763515
San Francisco34061398
Santa Barbara31763407
Solano29968164
Merced28915395
Sonoma27954298
Imperial26843589
Kings21951218
Placer19713231
San Luis Obispo19612227
Madera15390209
Santa Cruz14588183
Marin13136197
Yolo12760185
Shasta10944174
Butte10915160
El Dorado9095100
Napa897668
Sutter884597
San Benito574359
Yuba573336
Lassen560119
Tehama508152
Tuolumne394659
Nevada393274
Mendocino379643
Amador344441
Humboldt316033
Lake313440
Glenn221023
Colusa212813
Calaveras190547
Siskiyou174014
Inyo128736
Mono12114
Del Norte9875
Plumas6536
Modoc4524
Mariposa3947
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