Barrington High plans virtual graduation, hopes for summer gathering

Barrington High School will hold a virtual graduation ceremony at month's end along with associated activities leading up to it, replacing the usual milestone event held with thousands in attendance at Willow Creek Community Church.

With protocols in place addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, graduation activities will begin Friday with a retooled version of "Decision Day," according to a school announcement.

Seniors are asked to drive up to the high school at an assigned time with their cars decorated to show their decision on a college, trade school, career, military or other plans after graduation. In past years, seniors celebrated the day with cookies and banners in school.

Members of Barrington High's Parent Teacher Organization will take photos of the cars, then seniors will receive a graduate yard sign via curbside pickup.

The virtual graduation ceremony will be released online at 7 p.m. May 29 - the time the ceremony would have started at Willow Creek in South Barrington. It'll feature elements of the traditional ceremony, such as speeches from students and faculty members, a diploma presentation and a senior video

Curbside pickup of caps and gowns will take place May 14, according to the school. Seniors will return to Barrington High wearing the caps and gowns the week of May 18 to have two professional photographs taken and be recorded receiving their diplomas for the graduation video, with strict social distancing and other rules in place.

Barrington Area Unit District 220 Superintendent Brian Harris said officials still hope to bring the graduates together in the summer, if circumstances allow.

"Bring our seniors back onto the campus if we're allowed to, in the stadium and on the grounds," Harris said. "Do maybe a festival-type atmosphere. We're thinking differently about how we can celebrate the seniors. If we're not allowed to do it in the summer. we would do it at homecoming time. We would do it in the fall where we would have this special day."

This was last year's Barrington High School's graduation ceremony at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the school will have a virtual ceremony for the Class of 2020 on May 29. Daily Herald File Photo, 2019
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