Honoring the Class of 2020
April 29, 2020
Dear Seniors and Senior Parents and Guardians,
Throughout our time apart during the unprecedented coronavirus crisis, we have pledged to our senior class that we would celebrate them in person when it was safe and appropriate. On April 9, 2020, when Governor Tom Wolf closed schools for the academic year, we reaffirmed that commitment in a video message that was sent directly to every senior. Every chance we have had, we have also reminded our seniors that we miss them and we love them. We have never forgotten them!
With social distancing measures in place at least through May 8th, we still reaffirm that we will celebrate our seniors traditionally when it is safe and appropriate. In addition, should current restrictions remain in place, we also want to honor each senior on May 29, 2020, the originally scheduled date of their graduation. Each of our seniors has earned the right to be celebrated, to honor the four wonderful years at their beloved Nazareth and the culmination of that time as a proud Nazareth Academy graduate. We are excited to announce that we have formulated a plan that will achieve both goals.
Seniors Dressed in Caps and Gowns to Receive Diplomas: May 18th-22nd
Beginning on the afternoon of May 18th and concluding on May 22nd, every senior in the Class of 2020 will be scheduled for a 15-minute appointment on the front Chapel steps at Nazareth Academy High School. At their appointed time, each Nazareth Academy senior, arriving on campus in one car per family and dressed in her cap and gown, will walk up the Chapel steps, just as she did when she began her Nazareth career as a freshman or transfer student. The senior's name will be announced and she will receive her diploma at the top of the steps on the front porch. The senior's moment will be witnessed and shared by her family from the base of the steps, which will provide a great photo opportunity. Nazareth will also record each students' moment. All seventy-nine moments of the Class of 2020 will be compiled and shared with the seniors and their families on the morning of May 29th. While this celebration is not "graduation," physical or virtual, it does recognize each senior by giving her and her family their own time to celebrate in advance of May 29th.
Senior Salute Celebration on May 29th
On Friday, May 29th, beginning at noon and scheduled according to homeroom, every senior, dressed in her cap and gown, will be invited to travel to the Nazareth Academy High School campus in one car per family. At that time, the senior will receive her 2020 yearbook and then participate in a Senior Salute. During the Senior Salute, the senior, riding with her family, will travel a designated course through the entire parking lot where she will be celebrated by faculty and staff along the course. This will be accomplished in a way that salutes each senior and maintains safe social distancing.
Plans for In-person Senior Celebrations:
Prom, Alumnae Pinning, Baccalaureate Mass and Graduation
In the weeks after these non-traditional moments are observed on May 29th, we are hopeful that restrictions will be lifted and we can safely celebrate our seniors in a more traditional manner. During a three-day period, once Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania restrictions are lifted, we will celebrate in person the following events on these target dates:
- Senior Prom, June 30th
- Alumnae Pinning and Baccalaureate and Graduation Practice, July 1st
- Baccalaureate Mass and Graduation, July 2nd
As mitigation guidelines may change, our backup dates for the same events are July 14th-16th or August 4th-6th. Details will be released at the end of May.
Please know that while we have been planning and discussing these events with various scenarios for many weeks, we have been reticent to release details as the situation is constantly changing. By May 8th, if the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania lifts restrictions and we can celebrate our originally planned Commencement Exercises on May 29th, we will happily do so. We believe current conditions make that very unlikely, and so have formulated this very detailed alternative. We care for your daughters deeply and want to ensure that their final days of high school are filled with as many precious memories as possible to commemorate their years at Nazareth Academy.
Included with this letter is a Frequently Asked Questions page to give you more information about these events. If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.
May the Holy Family of Nazareth bless you and keep you and your families safe.
Denise LePera James Meredith
- When will Seniors receive their scheduled time for their individual moment on the Chapel steps? What if we cannot make that time?
- I read they are wearing caps and gowns. When will they receive them?
- Will diplomas and yearbooks be ready in time?
- Each Senior is getting a diploma before traditional graduation? Is that unusual?
- My Senior still has belongings in her locker and textbooks at home. When does she return them?
- I have not read anything about Class Day or Senior Class Awards. Has that been canceled? What about graduation awards?
- Where will the traditional events be held? What will these events look like?
- If we are celebrating a traditional graduation anyway, why do the events in May, too?
- What if the conditions and restrictions are such where we cannot gather together, even in August?