Grand Island Public Schools is continuing to adapt with its decision to continue distance learning through the end of the school year and conduct a virtual graduation ceremony May 17 for the Grand Island Senior High School senior class.

During this time of anxiety and insecurity created by coronavirus concerns, it is good to have our public schools providing a steady hand of leadership to keep us safe and recognize that this time of social distancing will end sooner if we make certain sacrifices right now.

Our high school seniors have been looking forward to their graduation for a long time and it would be a terrible shame if their ceremony were canceled. With the virtual ceremony, they will all have their caps and gowns, their diplomas and commencement programs that will be delivered to their homes before the ceremony.

This is not what the seniors and their families wanted, but this is a time when all of us are having to adjust to “the new normal.” Maintaining the date that had originally been set for this year’s graduation ceremony provides a constant in the midst of all this uncertainty.

Our children are going through a very traumatic time as they are unable to be with their friends and their teachers. But schools throughout Central Nebraska have been creative in reaching out to the children and their families and providing an optimistic and loving approach to learning that will hopefully keep the children on track to be ready to advance to the next grade in August.

Superintendent Tawana Grover said the district will be open to working with the senior class to celebrate at a later date. But Gov. Pete Ricketts has made it clear that it is necessary for the state’s schools to remain closed through the current school year in order to help prevent the pandemic concerns from extending into the fall.

Perhaps the individual schools can also plan celebrations for their students and staff to reunite before the start of the 2020-21 school year, once we’re able to safely get together again.

We anticipate that Grand Island’s other schools will be making announcements about their commencement plans soon as they have the same goal of supporting their students in this trying time.

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