Orofino,Idaho-Window on the Clearwater
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Graduations planned for Joint School District #171

by Dr. Michael C. Garrett, Superintendent Joint School District #171

The past few months have had their fair share of uncertainties. Data, guidelines, recommendations and rules change almost daily as our communities settle into a different world.

There has been one common denominator that continues to rise to the top, and that is celebrating our students and their hard-earned successes. As the school district made adjustments on the fly to comply with Governor Little's Orders, Idaho State Board of Education Motions, and Local, State and Federal Health Agency Recommendations there was always the yearning for a bit of normalcy for our students, staff and communities.

Time moved by quickly with each day feeling like a week until all of the dust settled and created clear expectations from the governing agencies. The district leadership jumped on this opportunity and began planning a way to "pull off" a graduation while meeting the guidelines. The process hasn't been easy and will please some and upset others, but with the input of students, parents and community members the team has come up with a plan we would like to share with everyone.

First things first. The guidelines that are guiding decisions are simply taken out of Governor Little's Phase In Orders. Crowds of less than 50 are suggested through June 12 (which was our original graduation date). The easy decision was to move gathered graduation crowds and ceremonies back to June 13. The second major guideline is that of social distancing. Gathering crowds are difficult to manage but the team has come up with a solution that we feel can work for all. The plans are as follows by grade and location.

Orofino Seniors

To be held on June 13 at 12 noon at the OJSHS Football Field. The attendees will be by invitation only due to limited space and social distancing. The students will be assigned a family parking area and will escort their families to the field through assigned times and entry locations. The ceremony will be held with speakers and recognition of graduates. The recessional will be similar to entry as families will leave with their student and head off to their celebrations.

Timberline Seniors

To be held June 13 at 5 p.m. at the Timberline School Gym. The attendees will be by invitation only due to available space and social distancing requirements. The seniors will arrive with their families and escort them to their assigned seating locations. Multiple entrances will be utilized with staggered entry times in order to maintain social distancing. The ceremony will be held with speakers and recognition of graduates. The recessional will be similar to entry as families will leave with their student and head off to their celebrations.

For those who are unable to attend, the school district will be live streaming the high school programs on YouTube as well as recording and linking to the school websites and social media. KLER will also be broadcasting live.

Orofino Kindergarten

To be held June 8 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Orofino Elementary. The details will be sent to the parents/guardians but it will be a drive through ceremony staggered in phases where they will receive certificates, a picture and goody bag.

Orofino 6th Grade

To be held June 11 from 2 - 3 p.m. at the Orofino Elementary and Junior/Senior High School. This will also be a vehicle graduation with certificates, pictures and surprises at OJSHS. The details are being sent to families for organizational purposes.

Cavendish Kindergarten and 6th Grade.

To be held on June 16 from 5-7 p.m. at Cavendish school. The plan is to hold it outside. Social Distancing will be followed. No food or drinks to be served.

We hope that everyone truly understands the importance of having these events and above all, having them safely for the family members to enjoy and celebrate. Please keep in mind that these events are first and foremost to celebrate the milestones of our students. We ask that you respect the guidelines set forth so we can have a memorable event that we all can be proud of. In the end it doesn't matter if you believe the plans are too much or too little, it matters that we respect the guidelines set forth by our governing agencies so we can have a celebration that honors the hard work and successes of our students.

Window on the Clearwater
P.O. Box 2444
Orofino, ID 83544
Phone: (208) 476-0733
Fax: (208) 476-4140