FOX VALLEY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Calumet County, Fond du Lac County, Outagamie County, Winnebago County

Kimberly, Appleton high schools cancel in-person graduation for Class of 2020


KIMBERLY, Wis. (WFRV) -Kimberly High School and the Appleton Area School District will not hold in-person graduations for the class of 2020 as originally planned.

According to a letter sent to students and families, in-person graduation was set to be held on July 22 “if we were in Phase 3 of the Badger Bounce Back Plan by July 10.”

“Based upon the most recent regional data and trends as well as continued conversations with
local and state health officials, our community and county have not met that criteria, and as a
result, we will not hold an in-person event on July 22nd,” Principal Jackie DePeau says in the letter. “This is an incredibly difficult decision to make, and I know it is a difficult decision to accept. The health and safety of our graduates, families, and community is top priority, and bringing together a large group of people at this time is not the responsible or appropriate decision.”

A virtual graduation ceremony had been held on June 3.

The Appleton Area School District says that, “based upon some of the most recent regional COVID-19 data, and ongoing conversations with our local and state health officials, we have made the difficult decision to not host an in-person graduation celebration/ceremony on August 3rd.”

Officials go on to say that “they strongly believe that bringing together a large group of people at this time is not the right decision, and would place our graduates, families and community at risk.”

The school district says they feel they can provide graduates and their families the opportunity to take graduation pictures on the stages at East, North, and West high schools. In addition, high school principals are looking at other ways to honor graduating seniors, according to the letter.

Schools like Sturgeon Bay and Valders celebrated with a drive-through ceremony. The Oshkosh Area School District, the Green Bay Area School District, and the Medical College of Wisconsin Gren Bay held virtual graduation ceremonies to honor the Class of 2020. In Wrightstown, school leaders delivered diplomas to students. Bellin College hed its graduation ceremony at Field of Scenes Drive-In in Freedom in May.

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