April 28, 2020
Dear Kelso High School students and parents,
Our commitment has been, and remains, to guarantee a graduation for all 2020 graduates on June 6th. Our goal is to align the June 6th graduation to our long-standing Kelso tradition of honoring each and every Kelso graduate.
In the event that Governor Inslee fully lifts distancing restrictions prior to August 15, 2020, we will revisit the possibility of an alternative celebration. If that happens, it would be in addition to the ceremony on June 6th, not a replacement event. We want students and families to know if there was a way for us to hold a traditional in-person graduation ceremony we would; all options within the state regulations have been explored.
Kelso School District MUST abide by the laws and governances of the State of Washington. Therefore, until the Governor fully lifts the order which states no gatherings over 10 with social distancing, Kelso School District cannot hold or organize an event that would violate these regulations. Based on the information we have been given by the Governor and State Superintendent Reykdal, these regulations will not be lifted anytime soon and perhaps even continue through the summer.
Our ceremony draws a crowd significantly larger than state-allowed 10 people. Kelso High School Graduation draws roughly 5,000 spectators each year. Please know, we are not alone in this. All local districts will be hosting virtual graduations as it is the best possible option at this time. Those with continued concerns or petitions challenging the state regulations are best directed to Governor Inslee in Olympia, WA.
We Are means something to us and the traditions we hold dear are important. Our best effort and greatest care has gone into planning our virtual graduation, to ensure that Kelso High School students have something to mark this day.
Christine McDaniel Mary Beth Tack
Kelso High School Principal Superintendent