Graduation

Gothenburg High School has a plan for the 2020 Senior Class.

The weekly virtual town hall meeting took place on Thursday afternoon, April 23, with several guests sharing information and updates on the Coronavirus and the pandemic’s impact on the community. One of the panelists was Gothenburg Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Todd Rhodes, who finally had an answer for the burning question on everyone’s mind. Will there be a graduation ceremony for the GHS class of 2020, and if so - when?

“That has been the million dollar question, and of course we have planned all along that we are going to have a ceremony,” said Rhodes. “Commencement will take place on Saturday, Aug. 1 at 7 p.m. The type of commencement exercises will be commensurate to the guidelines set forth by the State of Nebraska and Local Health Department.  We thought if we went later in the evening we might be able to be outside and utilize the football field.”

With the tentative Aug. 1 graduation date, that brought up another question relating to the school schedule. What will all of this mean for the start of classes this Fall?

“We’re having discussions at the state level to come up with multiple plans on what the start of the Fall semester might look like,” Dr. Rhodes said. “Our team has even talked about what summer school might look like. I can tell you this - we will not be ill prepared when it comes time to start that Fall semester. But again, that will all be based on what comes from the health department.”

Rhodes said his administrative team is meeting regularly to discuss the various educational options for the students at GPS, as well as having regular conversations with the State Department of Education. He said one option being considered would be utilizing the e-learning that the students are currently practicing should classes not be allowed to resume as scheduled.

As of now, the first day of the 2020-21 school year at Gothenburg Public Schools is set for Aug. 13. The last day of the 2019-20 school year will be May 15, with May 6 being the last day for seniors.

Contact Ellen Mortensen at ellen@gothenburgleader.com