There won’t be packed gymnasiums and churches filled with parents, relatives and friends -- but there will still be plenty of pomp and circumstance, as well as unique recognition for those graduating with the Class of 2020 amid the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic.
Both Bellevue Community Schools and Marquette Catholic Schools are planning ‘social distancing graduations.’ Bellevue’s will take place on Saturday May 23 beginning at 2 p.m., while Marquette’s will take place Sunday, May 24 during Mass at 10:15 a.m.
At Bellevue, students and their families will sign up for a short period of time to come into the west gymnasium. The graduating senior will walk to the east side of the gym, while family members will walk toward the center of the gym toward the stage to take photographs and watch.
Student names will be called by Principal Jeff Recker, then the student will take the stage to received diplomas and have their tassels turned by Superintendent Tom Meyer.
Marquette Catholic Schools will conduct a similar scenario at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church with social distancing being practiced.
Both schools will also have each senior recorded receiving their diploma and will be given a USB drive with the footage at graduation. The USB drives were donated by Bellevue State Bank, with the video being shot by Mark Beauchamp of Bellevue Video.
Marquette also plans to have a full graduation Mass at another time to be determined based on when church congregations may once again gather.
Bellevue is planning conduct a full traditional graduation on June 21 at 2 p.m. in the west gymnasium if allowed at the time.
Bellevue and Marquette will also join together for a ‘senior parade’ on the streets of Bellevue this Sunday, starting at 3:15 p.m. The route has not yet been established, but will cover most of the city.
In addition to graduations parades and videos, the Bellevue Herald-Leader has also published its annual Graduation Souvenir edition, featuring all graduating seniors from both schools, as has been done for decades and decades. That section appears inside this week’s newspaper.