Lawrence school district moves graduation ceremonies to July

photo by: Nick Krug

The Lawrence High graduating class of 2018 tosses their caps in the air in celebration at the close of the commencement ceremony on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at LHS.

Outgoing seniors in the Lawrence school district will be honored during graduation ceremonies this summer, despite the coronavirus pandemic disrupting their originally planned celebrations.

Superintendent Anthony Lewis announced in a Monday video message that the school district will hold ceremonies for seniors of Lawrence High School, Free State High School and Lawrence Virtual School in July.

“There is a special place in my heart for the senior class,” Lewis said in the video. “We have listened to the wishes of our seniors and their parents and are preparing to celebrate the accomplishments of the class of 2020 in a major way.”

The newly scheduled ceremonies are:

• Lawrence Virtual School — 1 p.m., Saturday, July 11 at Free State High School’s auditorium, 4700 Overland Drive.

• Free State High School — 8 a.m., Saturday, July 18 at its stadium, located on the northwest portion of the school’s campus, 4700 Overland Drive.

• Lawrence High School — 10:30 a.m., Saturday, July 18 at its stadium, located on the west side of the school’s campus, 1901 Louisiana St.

Lewis said the school district will be announcing specific instructions to ensure the ceremonies meet health and safety requirements related to the pandemic. He said those instructions would include limiting the number of guests per graduate.

In case of rain, Lewis said LHS and Free State will hold “drive-thru graduation parades.” He also noted all ceremony plans are subject to change to meet national, state and local guidelines for the pandemic.

Along with the newly scheduled ceremonies, Lewis said LHS and Free State will each hold no-contact special activities the days their graduations were originally scheduled — Tuesday, May 19 for Free State, and Wednesday, May 20 for LHS.

“The individual high schools are planning those activities with a group of senior leaders,” School district spokeswoman Julie Boyle said in an email. “They will vary by school and will be shared with students and families by the schools.”

The July ceremonies will be held almost two months after they were originally scheduled. The events were postponed along with most school activities because the state shut down school buildings for the remainder of the academic year to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Superintendent’s Graduation Announcement

Superintendent Dr. Anthony Lewis updates USD 497 staff and school families on May 11, 2020, including information on graduation.


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