Recently, Deer Valley Unified School District, Dysart Unified School District, and Peoria Unified School District shared a joint statement regarding plans for high school graduation. For the past several weeks, district leaders have been working with State Farm Stadium to provide memorable graduation ceremonies for the class of 2020 seniors, according to the statement.

Originally, graduation ceremonies were scheduled for May, but in light of the physical school closures through the end of this school year as ordered by Governor Doug Ducey, social distancing guidelines and event size restrictions, it was not prudent to hold ceremonies as initially scheduled. The districts still want to hold these important ceremonies, and they are making plans to do so, if it is feasible.

If gathering restrictions are lifted or adjusted to allow the events to take place, the following dates are reserved at State Farm Stadium to hold the class of 2020 graduation ceremonies:

Friday, June 26: Centennial, Sunrise Mountain, Raymond S. Kellis, and Ironwood high schools
Saturday, June 27: Peoria, Liberty and Cactus high schools.

The Peoria Flex Academy will hold its graduation ceremony on Thursday, June 25 and additional details will be shared at a later date.

The specific format for all ceremonies is still to be determined, and will be dependent upon guidance from state government, health officials, and State Farm Stadium. Ceremony times will be determined and communicated to seniors and their families when confirmed.

Between the three districts, there are 96,000 students.

Across the state, most districts celebrated graduations virtually. To help ease the disappointment of missing out on traditional graduation festivities, many families opted for non-traditional celebrations, including signs on front lawns, virtual get-togethers, and more.

Statewide, on May 20, Governor Doug Ducey honored the class of 2020 by declaring the day Class of 2020 Celebration Day.

“Students throughout the state have worked tirelessly to reach the major milestone of graduation,” says Governor Ducey. “These graduates have worked hard to earn their diplomas, certificates and advanced degrees — and many are the first in their family to do so. To all class of 2020 graduates — Arizona is proud of your success and we wish you the very best in your next endeavor. Congratulations!”

Representatives from all of the districts have noted that official plans will be communicated in a timely fashion to students and their families when details are more concrete.