With campuses closed for the COVID-19 pandemic, schools are celebrating graduates on social media instead of handing out yearbooks the last week of school.
Queen Creek Unified School District is recognizing its graduating high school seniors with their yearbook entries on social media.
“This is an unprecedented year for high school seniors,” said Stephanie Ingersoll, public relations coordinator for Queen Creek Unified School District.
Queen Creek Superintendent Dr. Perry Berry wrote in a letter to high school seniors, “while I wish I had reassurances or answers about senior activities (graduation, etc), I do not. However, I can tell you that we will continue to work, ask questions, and look for solutions in order to celebrate you and your accomplishments.”
Dr. Berry, who is the father of a graduating high school senior, reminded students that “most of us have never experienced this level of disruption and uncertainty in our lifetime,” but urged them to keep things in perspective and “remain patient, cautious and safe while maintaining a healthy perspective about your bright future and the current problems facing our society.”
“Individual social media posts for more than 500 seniors is just one way we can celebrate them,” Ingersoll said.
The response from students and parents has been wonderful, Ingersoll said.
“Parents are reaching out to the marketing department eagerly waiting for their student’s picture to post. The district has received many “thank you for doing this” messages, Ingersoll said.
Ingersoll said the school asked students to share their social media handles so they could tag them online.
“When we are able to tag the student, the majority of them have reshared it with their friends and family,” Ingersoll said.
In addition, Queen Creek Unified is celebrating high school seniors in with specialized hoodies, yard signs, and with a tribute video for the Class of 2020, Ingersoll said.
“Whether it is with a social media post or a video, we just want our #2020strong Bulldogs to know they have made Queen Creek very proud,” Ingersoll said.
Cave Creek Unified School District and Superintendent Dr. Debbie Burdick have ‘been celebrating our high school seniors for the past four years,” said Julia Scotto, executive assistant to the superintendent and governing board.
“Beginning in December, we ask parents to send us their graduate’s college, trade school, military and/or work information, and we post on CCUSD’s social media platforms and in the monthly News from the Creek,” Scotto said.
“Students, parents and staff love it, and enjoy seeing these posts,” Scotto said.
Just two weeks ago, AZEdNews encouraged parents of graduating high school seniors to send in photos of their students with a brief message to be posted in our AZEdNews 2020 High School Senior Yearbook on our website as a way to honor students’ achievements.
Since then, we’ve received and posted more than 840 yearbook entries.
We’re hoping to receive more yearbook entries, so please keep them coming.
Click here to submit your graduating high school senior’s photo for AZEdNews’ online senior yearbook
Mesa Unified School District created custom Class of 2020 Facebook Frames for students and families to use when posting their photos on social media.
May schools like Madison Simis Elementary are working out details on how they’ll safely distribute yearbooks to students when they arrive.
Perry High School is turning on their football stadium lights at 8:20 p.m. each night (20:20 in military time) for 20 minutes to honor their graduating seniors, said Terry Locke, director of community relations for Chandler Unified School District.
Bring those lights! https://t.co/MQAYN5EeIA— Chandler Unified SD (@ChandlerUnified) April 8, 2020
“Neighboring school districts are joining in for this commendation. The community seems to be so appreciative,” Locke said.
Now several school districts like Yuma Union High School District, Gilbert, J.O. Combs, Queen Creek and others across the state are following suit.
Meanwhile, Phoenix Union High School District is having teachers and staff members call students daily to make sure they are doing all right, take time to celebrate their successes and find out if there’s any way they can provide support, said Richard Franco, marketing and communications director for the school district.