PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – School districts often plan their calendar more than a year in advance, but this spring, those plans have been forced to change for obvious health considerations. While some area districts have announced tentative plans for the spring, other school superintendents say it is still too early to say what will happen with graduation.

For years, the biggest concern about planning high school graduation in western Pennsylvania was whether the weather would be good enough to hold it outside at the football stadium. This is not just any year.

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“If we’re still going to have to respect the social distancing,” says Thomas Samosky, Superintendent of the Moniteau School District, “I think it’s going to be challenging for us to have a traditional ceremony.”

Dr. Christopher Stone, Ph.D. and Superintendent of the Montour School District agrees. “We’re all in, sort of sailing the uncharted waters here. So, you know, our goal is to make the best decisions possible to ensure the health and well being of our kiddos.”

Most of us can tell you a lot of details from our high school graduations. The class of 2020 will remember it too, but for a much different reason.

“What they anticipated may not happen,” says Samosky, who has a son graduating from high school this spring. “We still want to make it special. And we still want them to have this learning experience that life, not everything always works out, as you plan.”

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While some area districts have started to talk about plans and revised dates for graduation and prom, Dr. Stone sent this letter to parents in Montour. It says rather than mislead the community, they are quote “opting to wait and see what our options will be.”

“That’s one of the things we pride ourselves at Montour,” says Dr. Stone. “Sometimes maybe over-communicating, but at the end of the day, we try to make sure that we’re keeping our parents or our constituents well informed in the best interest of kids.”

So what can you do? At Moniteau, they are considering just about everything to make it memorable for the class of 2020.

“A parent suggested a drive-in movie theater, and we reached out to a local drive-in movie theater to see if it’s still complying to the governor’s social distancing request. But we’re filtering a lot of ideas seeing what do we think would be best,” says Samosky.

No doubt that is a graduation everyone would remember, but then again, it will be a long time before anyone forgets the spring of 2020.

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Photo credit for Montour HS Images: Taylor Bobak
Photo credit for Moniteau HS Images: Mike Schnelle