OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Omaha Public Schools announced Monday that all summer activities and the class of 2020's graduation ceremony are canceled.
Initially the graduation ceremony was postponed, but a letter sent to parents this evening from OPS said there will not be a new date for the event.
"We know celebrations like commencement not only draw large groups for the ceremony, but bring many other large gatherings alongside it. With that in mind and a focus on health and safety, we must regretfully cancel our in-person graduation ceremonies in August."
The district also announced in a separate letter that they will be suspending "school-sponsored workouts, weightlifting, practices and rehearsals after today, July 27, 2020, through the end of summer."
See the full letter sent to families about summer activities below.
Dear Omaha Public Schools Families and Staff,
Health and safety has been our priority as we offered limited opportunities for students to condition, practice and rehearse over the summer. Our district guidance provided layers of precautions for the protection of students and staff, based on the recommendations of local and national health officials.
As COVID-19 continues to be diagnosed in the Omaha community, we have worked closely with the Douglas County Health Department in cases where a student tested positive. Following their direction, we communicate with students and families who may need to take additional steps for their safety. The well-being of our community is at the forefront.
From our first updates in June, we have shared that our focus is a responsible return to school in August. With that in mind, we will be suspending school-sponsored workouts, weightlifting, practices and rehearsals after today, July 27, 2020, through the end of summer. This additional measure is to further limit groups, so we encourage students and families to continue following health department recommendations at home and in our community.
Keeping our community informed is important to us. We value open communication with those we serve. Please look for updates in our regular email newsletters, on our district website and official social media channels.
Opening safely and responsibly requires all of our participation. Thank you for your partnership in that effort.
Cheryl J. Logan, Ed.D.
See the full letter sent to families about the graduation ceremony below.
Dear 2020 Omaha Public Schools Graduates and Families,
From our transition to remote learning in March, we have shared how important it was to celebrate your graduation safely and responsibly during this time. From our virtual commencement to drive-through celebrations, we were happy to recognize all that you have achieved – and the promising opportunities ahead of you.
As we made final preparations for our in-person ceremonies in August, health conditions continued to evolve. We know celebrations like commencement not only draw large groups for the ceremony, but bring many other large gatherings alongside it. With that in mind and a focus on health and safety, we must regretfully cancel our in-person graduation ceremonies in August. With rapidly-changing conditions and many graduates soon moving into new chapters, we will not have a make-up date.
We shared in early spring that the challenges you’ve faced are unlike any other graduating class in many years. We echo what many of our class presidents shared in their virtual commencement speeches: The strength you’ve used to persevere through this time will carry you great distances in your future endeavors. We are proud of you and excited to see how you change our world for the better.
Cheryl J. Logan, Ed.D.