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Fresno Unified High School Graduation Ceremonies Will Be Outdoors

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Fresno Unified seniors in the Class of 2021 will don caps and gowns and gather with classmates for graduation ceremonies later this spring, the district announced Friday.

But unlike in earlier years, the ceremonies will be held outdoors, and attendance might be limited to immediate household members to ensure sufficient COVID-19 social distancing.

Last year, high school graduation ceremonies across California were held virtually or, as in the case of Clovis Unified, one graduate at a time in livestreamed ceremonies.

The School Board is scheduled to finalize the graduation plans at the April 21 meeting.

If community health conditions continue to improve, the number of people allowed to attend the ceremony could be increased, the district said. Masks will be required for participants.

The ceremonies also will be livestreamed, and professional photos will be shot of each graduate.

Class of 2020 Not Forgotten

Members of Fresno Unified’s Class of 2020, whose commencement ceremonies were curtailed by the coronavirus, also will have the opportunity to walk across the stage, the district said. The date for their ceremony, which will be for all high schools, is tentatively set for May 24.

“While we know our seniors had an extremely challenging year and missed out on most traditional senior activities, we hope the announcement of outdoor graduation ceremonies brings some much-deserved joy and excitement to the Class of ’21 and their families,” Superintendent Bob Nelson said in a news release.

The district has created a draft schedule for the graduations.

Nancy Price is a multimedia journalist for GV Wire. A longtime reporter and editor who has worked for newspapers in California, Florida, Alaska, Illinois and Kansas, Nancy joined GV Wire in July 2019. She previously worked as an assistant metro editor for 13 years at The Fresno Bee. Nancy earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Her hobbies include singing with the Fresno Master Chorale and volunteering with Fresno Filmworks. You can reach Nancy at 559-492-4087 or Send an Email