Graduation plans

This file photo shows a past graduation ceremony at South Beloit High School. Due to social distancing recommendations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many area schools will be holding virtual graduation ceremonies. Others, like South Beloit High School, plan to wait until social distancing guidelines are relaxed so an in-person graduation event can be held.

Area school districts are planning a variety of virtual graduations as well as making plans for possible in-person celebrations.

The School District of Beloit Turner will hold a virtual graduation ceremony for seniors at 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 31. The ceremony will be open to all family members, and every student will have personalized messages and will receive a video copy of the commencement to download as a keepsake.

School District of Beloit Interim Superintendent Sue Green said the graduation committee decided, with student input, that the district will provide a virtual graduation ceremony online on June 6 at 10 a.m. The district is also working on a tentative Aug. 1 live celebration, depending if the state allows it.

South Beloit School District is committed to having a traditional graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020, said Superintendent Scott Fisher.

“We are going to wait until we get the go ahead from the health department to hold the event with regards to COVID-19. We hope we can hold it in the fall or early winter. The graduation ceremony will be at our High School Auditorium,” Fisher said.

The district made yard signs for seniors to place on their lawns, and the high school principal delivered the signs to each seniors home.

“We are also placing every senior picture on light poles on Blackhawk Boulevard. They should be up by the end of the week. I believe we will have 56 pictures decorating the street,” Fisher said.

Parkview has determined two potential dates for holding Parkview graduation. The first date is 1 p.m. on Sunday, June 28 at Parkview High School, although unlikely.

“We know this is wishful thinking, but if the current safer at home and mass gathering restrictions are lifted in June, we have a date set. The second date is 1 p.m. on Sunday, July 26 at Parkview High School.

“If we are unable to have a mass gathering, we will reach out to our graduates and their families to see if they want to continue to wait for the restrictions to lift or schedule a virtual ceremony,” said Superintendent Steve Lutzke.

Rock County Christian School Head of School Ron Gruber said those at the school hope to have an in-person ceremony as soon as possible, however, plans are being made for a virtual graduation to be held on June 6.

Hononegah Community High School will host a virtual commencement ceremony on May 23. The recording of the virtual graduation commencement will be released on the school’s website at hononegah.org and on its Facebook page at 8:30 a.m. The high school has also reserved July 25 for an in-person ceremony at the BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford.

Clinton High School is doing a virtual ceremony only. It’s going to stream it live on Sunday, May 31 at 1 p.m. The principal and athletic director will read the names of the 84 kids. Their pictures will be flashed for all to see. In addition, the kids’ pre-recorded speeches will be played. And each senior will be allowed to make a 30-second video to mark the occasion.