Joining a trend of several other districts, Groveport Madison Schools announced the class of 2020 will have a virtual graduation at 7 p.m. June 6.

"We recognize that our seniors and their families have made many sacrifices this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic," a district statement released May 8 said. "While it's very difficult to set aside our emotions at what's been lost, it's essential to keep in mind these sacrifices also protect those we most love and cherish each day. And we are all vulnerable to either spreading and/or contracting the virus ourselves.

"We're very proud of the class of 2020, and we know our entire community joins us in celebrating their accomplishments. While none of us can fully make up for those losses, we have taken several steps to make this year's graduation a community-wide celebration of our students and their families."

The video will be shown on the district's website,

Between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday, May 23, seniors will walk across a stage in front of the high school to receive their diploma jackets. Times will be determined alphabetically, and diplomas will be mailed before June 5.

Each graduate and family members will wait in a vehicle until the designated time. Only one vehicle is allowed per family and only the graduate is allowed to exit the vehicle.

Family members will be able to park the vehicle in front of the stage, ensuring a clear angle for photos and videos. Graduation photos also will be taken. Although students will be able to remove their masks for photos, participating family members and friends have been asked by the school to wear protective masks.

The videos of the presentations will be compiled to a video for the virtual ceremony, which will air on the district's YouTube channel and also will include speeches from Superintendent Garilee Ogden, principal Muhamad Conteh, student council president Jazlin Winski (who will read an introduction for the class of 2020) and valedictorians Saqqira Smith, Kayla Worthington, Rachel Conners, Patience Cox, Alyssa Pfaub, Ashlyn Willis, Lizarely Lizardo-Martinez, MacKenzie Maddy, Katelyn Kirk, Macie Sporleder and Derek Smith. Each valedictorian will read an approximately two-minute speech.

A copy of the graduation program, the graduation ceremony video and the official class of 2020 photograph will be available for download on the school's website.

In addition, the district also has prepared a series of community-wide celebrations.

"We're very proud of the class of 2020, and we know our entire community joins us in celebrating their accomplishments," Superintendent Garilee Ogden said.

With their cap and gown pickup, each graduate will receive a class of 2020 yard sign and a ribbon as part of the district's red-ribbon campaign, which asks students and community members alike to tie a red ribbon to a tree, mailbox or other visible location to support the class.

Celebratory banners will be placed on the front lawn of all school and district offices, in addition to a banner listing the names of all 2020 graduates on the front lawn of the high school. The school's website also will be displaying tributes, both in the form of messages and photographs, from staff and underclassmen to the graduates.