Schools looking at how to celebrate the Class of 2020

Credit: WINK News

High school seniors this year won’t get to wear caps and gowns for graduation, but Southwest Florida school districts are trying to figure out alternatives to make sure students get their much-deserved recognition.

Nathalya Waibl and her mom Rose Alcantar were really looking forward to graduation this year.

“I just really want to be celebrated and walk across the stage and make my family and friends proud,” Nathalya said.

“I was planning to make a little party out in Immokalee to celebrate her and her few friends that graduated,” Alcantar said.

But COVID-19 changed all that.

No more in-person classes the rest of the school year. No large gatherings. No traditional graduation ceremonies.

Lee County Superintendent Dr. Greg Adkins said they’re weighing options.

“One is a virtual graduation that would give recognition to each and every one of our students virtually, but we are also pursuing a graduation postponement that would occur at this point possibly sometime in July,” he said.

Collier County Public Schools plans to deliver yard-signs of recognition to all seniors until the district comes up with a plan.

Kim Horseman and her son Jackson want the opportunity to recognize Jackson’s achievement.

“It’s such a huge accomplishment for them and they’ve already missed prom, senior grad bash and he even missed senior pictures,” Horseman said.

“I just want to be able to walk the stage at this point,” Jackson said.

High school graduation is a rite of passage, leading these young people on to their next step in life.

I know we were robbed of all of our senior activities and you know, some of the things we look forward to for the past 12 years of our life, and it will get better. I believe it will truly get better,” Nathalya said.

Charlotte County Public Schools said it’s considering all possible options. The superintendent has been in contact with superintendents around the state, looking at how other districts are handling graduation.

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