How Schools Are Celebrating Their Graduating Class in 2021
by Nailea Ayala Sahagún, on Jun 7, 2021 9:00:00 AM
Due to the limitations presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, many school districts have had to adjust how they celebrate their graduating seniors. We’ve seen this up close with our clients, many of whom have had to get creative with their graduation festivities. They’ve all gone to great lengths to ensure that this year’s graduating class is provided with as much normalcy as is feasible at this time.
This year, especially, has presented an interesting situation, as, unlike 2020, when no in-person events were allowed, things are starting to open back up. Due to this new development, in-person events are once again an option if modified to include mask-wearing, social distancing, limited attendance, and the like. As such, in this blog post, we will be outlining the top five methods school districts have implemented to celebrate the Class of 2021 in the safest ways possible while also taking advantage of the pandemic’s recent decline.
Creating Promotional Graphics
One of the most effective ways to celebrate the Class of 2021 has been promotional graphics. These have included the schedules and ceremony safety guidelines, as well as congratulatory messages to the Class of 2021. Social media is a fantastic tool for school communications, and it has allowed school districts to spread the word about the accomplishments of their graduating seniors, as well as information about any upcoming graduation events.
Distributing Targeted Emails to Parents and Graduates
Many of our school district clients have also been sending targeted emails to parents and graduates. In tandem with social media posts, they have used these emails to inform both parties of any graduation news. These have ranged from updates on the possibility of in-person events to concrete ceremony details. By sending out targeted emails, school districts have been able to build a stronger connection with graduating seniors and their parents. Keeping them informed has created a sense of trust that is vital for pandemic communications.
Promoting the Graduating Class in Monthly Newsletters
School districts have also built excitement for their graduation ceremonies by promoting them, and their graduating classes, in their monthly newsletters. Monthly newsletters provide a great avenue of communication for any community members who are not on social media, allowing them to stay up to date on all graduation news as well. These newsletters have also provided a space to highlight the Class of 2021 and share information about their ceremonies.
Holding In-Person Events in Compliance with Federal and State Guidelines
Due to the new guidelines presented by the State of California, some of our school district clients have opted to hold in-person events in compliance with all COVID-19 regulations. Because of this, we will be able to go on site to photograph and live stream the ceremonies. This will allow us to help our clients capture the special moments of graduation and provide a sense of normalcy despite an overall unusual school year. This is much different from the situation presented in 2020, when no in-person ceremonies were feasible due to the severity of the pandemic. It has been great to see in-person graduation ceremonies come back this year in ways that are safe for all who attend. Of course, all school districts are following safety protocols by mandating mask-wearing, implementing social distancing guidelines, and limiting attendance capacity.
Live Streaming Graduation Events for Those Who Are Unable to Attend in Person
Although some school districts are planning on hosting in-person graduation ceremonies, many have been modified in order to abide by COVID-19 safety regulations. Because of this, attendance may be limited, and many schools have opted to live stream their ceremonies, so that all those who wish to watch may do so, even if they cannot attend in person. One major benefit of offering live streams is that they can be translated on site for those in attendance and tuning in virtually. This increases accessibility for non-English-speaking family members of those graduating.
Overall, although this year’s graduation ceremonies may look different than those from before the pandemic, many schools have been able to celebrate the Class of 2021 by getting creative with their communications. The opportunities for modified in-person graduations and live-streamed events have also opened the celebrations up to a wider audience, while still allowing the school districts to abide by COVID-19 guidelines. We are so proud to have been able to assist our school district clients with the promotion of their graduation ceremonies, and we wish the Class of 2021 all the best as they move forward in their journeys!
Nailea Ayala Sahagún
Nailea is an accomplished public relations professional with experience in education, digital marketing, and multicultural communications. Prior to joining Presidio, Nailea worked with Fortune 500 companies like The Lincoln Motor Company and McDonald’s on media relations, focusing on top–tier Hispanic media. Nailea was also involved in community outreach efforts for statewide campaigns and local measures. Additionally, Nailea holds over 7 years of experience working with school districts in Southern California. Today, Nailea leads Presidio's creative team and handles content creation, social media management, and video production for our clients.