Dear Class of 2020, and your families:

We know you have all been anxiously awaiting news of what graduation might look like this year.  This has been an incredibly difficult time for all of you, and for us as a staff, as we watch so many of the milestones of senior year lost because of this crisis. There is no way to give you back what you’ve lost. Your strength, resilience, and continued support of each other and your school and larger communities leaves a legacy for generations of students to come.  

High school and district leadership have been working hard for weeks to try and come up with a plan for your graduation that celebrates and honors you. We are not able to hold ceremonies in person in early June. We know that an in-person celebration, with your family and friends, is what we all want.  With guidance from the state and federal government continuing to evolve, we hold out hope for that outcome, as well.  Both Chaska and Chanhassen High Schools have reserved our football stadiums on Saturday, July 25th and the Integrated Arts Academy ceremony will be Friday, July 24th (location to be determined) for just such a celebration, provided that guidance from the state departments of health and education changes so that we can safely come together to cheer the Class of 2020 in person.  In the event of inclement weather, that celebration will be Saturday, August 1. We will share more details with you in the days and weeks ahead.

We understand that not everyone will be able to make that date.  We have graduates headed off to the service, to the workforce, and other plans that may make attending impossible.  You deserve your moment to shine, too, and share in your accomplishment with your family and your community.   To honor you, and to make sure we are honoring all seniors in the event the July date isn’t possible, we are developing a video that follows, as closely as possible, our traditional graduation ceremony.  We will be sharing that video online so that your family, friends, and the broader community can celebrate with you, if possible on the night of our planned graduation ceremonies in June.

We know this is not where any of us wanted to be, looking toward June.  Nothing we can plan can match up to what was meant to be for you and your families. We speak not just for ourselves, but for your teachers, our staff, district leadership, and the School Board when we say we are committed to doing what we can to make sure you feel special and celebrated. We are proud of each and every one of you for the work you’ve done to get to graduation.

At the end of the day, no one writes your story but you, and your story is just beginning. The end of this chapter didn’t come together like it was supposed to, but there’s still hope yet we can be together this summer.  And no matter what happens, we know there are big, exciting things ahead for you, no matter what your future holds. 

Thank you for representing our schools so well.  We hold out hope that we will celebrate together in person in July.

Dick Ungar, Chanhassen High School

James Bach, Chaska High School

Tera Kaltas, Integrated Arts Academy