Clackamas Middle College Graduates and Families,
I hope this communication finds you safe and well during the recent COVID-19 Outbreak. The main concern for us at Clackamas Middle College (CMC) is the safety of our students and their families. As we are finding out, there are many things that we can’t control during this pandemic. However, because of this, we must work diligently to control what we can in order to provide the best possible support to our students during these unusual times.
In normal times and circumstances, everyone in the CMC community would love to host a traditional graduation. However, recently, Governor Brown extended the state of emergency through July 6th. Despite this state of emergency, the one thing we can control is to work diligently to provide the best possible celebration for our students during this pandemic. Because of the safety concerns of our students and their families, the celebration of our graduates will look different than years’ past.
Planning any celebration takes a tremendous amount of time and coordination, so we would like to begin that process immediately to properly honor our graduates prior to the end of the 2019-2020 school year. Comments from our graduates through the survey sent last month, show the need to celebrate the Class of 2020 as a whole. Delaying the celebration until August would be problematic for the following reasons:
- We don’t control the outcomes of this pandemic
- We don’t control any future state of emergency orders
- Availability of staff during the summer months
- Many graduates wouldn’t be able to attend due to fall college planning
- We may not be able to provide a safe and inclusive celebration for all involved
In order to maximize the time we have during the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, we have begun planning for a celebration in June (date to be determined…) for our graduates and their families. This celebration will ensure the safety of all involved and allow graduates to celebrate with their families. The plan to celebrate the Class of 2020 will be implemented in three phases:
- Phase 1- Clackamas Middle College Graduate Care Package celebration
- Phase 2- Graduate celebration capturing speeches, performances, and graduate recognition
- Phase 3- Awarding of diplomas and celebration
Phase 1 will include CMC staff preparing graduate care packages for pickup in early June (date TBD). The graduate care packages will include: a personalized CMC tote bag, Class of 2020 t-shirt, high school and college honor cords, stoles, medals, graduation program, caps and gowns etc… Once we have all the items in the graduate care package, we will coordinate with graduates/families for a drive-through style celebration pickup. In order to execute a successful event and adhere to the social distancing guidelines for maximum safety, graduates/families will not have to get out of their vehicles to participate.
Phase 2 will include a video celebration of the Class of 2020. This will be available for graduates and families to view in mid-June, and will include: messages from CMC Staff, speeches and performances from 2020 Graduates, graduate recognition (pictures from each graduate along with a quote), and college signing recognition. This will be posted on our website and will be available to all families to view and celebrate.
Phase 3 will include a drive-through style awarding of the diplomas to each graduate/family, and graduate celebration. As with Phase 1, in order to execute a successful diploma celebration and adhere to the social distancing guidelines for maximum safety, graduates/families will not have to get out of their vehicles to participate.
As we plan the details of this three-phase celebration, we will send communications regularly throughout the next month through our website, Facebook, counselor pages and emails. Please make sure to check these regularly for the dates and times of these events.
We know this time isn’t ideal for many families, so we are working to provide the best possible options considering the circumstances. We also know that if we begin the commitment to celebrating our Class of 2020 now, we can provide a wonderful celebration while keeping the safety of our students and families in the forefront.
Thank you for your understanding and flexibility during this time, and we look forward to celebrating a wonderful graduating class- The Class of 2020.
Take care and stay safe,
Brian Sien, Ed.D.
Clackamas Middle College