The Upper Arlington High School class of 2020 has taken another hit because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic after the district canceled the May 24 commencement ceremony.
"We are committed to having a commence ceremony, but we are awaiting guidance from state leaders and health officials to learn when it might be safe to have a large gathering like this," Superintendent Paul Imhoff said. "We don't want to set a date and have to cancel it again.
"We don't feel that would be fair to the class of 2020."
Imhoff said the decision to cancel the May 24 ceremony was "heartbreaking" and was done "for the health and safety of our students, their families and our staff."
"These are milestones and events that the students have been told to look forward to their whole lives," he said. "The class of 2020 is an amazing group of students, and I hate that their school careers are ending in a time of such uncertainty.
"I want them to know that we are so very proud of them."
Gov. Mike DeWine announced April 20 that schools were shuttered for the rest of the academic year.
In the meantime, Upper Arlington students continue to receive student support and instruction electronically.
Imhoff said high school principal Andrew Theado is working with student leaders and surveying the senior class for feedback as to how they will be recognized.
"We are committed to holding a traditional graduation ceremony when it is safe to do so," he said. "We're also working with our seniors to plan fun and safe ways to celebrate their achievements this spring."
The district alos plans to recognize Cum Laude Society members of the class of 2020.
The society was established in 1906 to recognize academic excellence, justice and honor. It was modeled after the Phi Beta Kappa honor society, and it's the highest academic recognition a high school student can achieve on a national level.
"Ninety-three juniors and seniors have been selected for the Cum Laude Society this year," said Karen Truett, the district's communications director. "While the traditional luncheon had to be canceled, the Upper Arlington Education Foundation is working with the family that sponsors that event to provide a keepsake for students."