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Graduate Photo-Shoot and Parade - Class of 2020

posted May 27, 2020, 11:55 AM by John Pearson   [ updated May 27, 2020, 12:14 PM ]

                                                                       May 27, 2020



EAWR is planning some one-of-a-kind end of the year activities related to the Class of 2020, whose end of high school life and education was disrupted by the COVID-19 virus. Please review these with your graduate(s). 


Because we are unsure if we can have a full-fledged graduation ceremony - even by July 24th - we are doing what some other schools have done or are planning to do: Take photos of each graduate and, along with other videos and materials, put those photos together into a video presentation of Graduation. In order to gather those graduate photos, we ask that you make plans to come up to the Memorial Gym from 12:00 - 7:00 PM both on Wed., June 3rd and Thurs., June 4th. We also have time slots for Friday, June 5th, from 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM. 

Scheduling for these 10-minute time slots will be done via Signup Genius. Here's the link to that app for photoshoot scheduling (It is also posted on the high school's official Facebook Page, for your convenience). We ask that parents, who are free during the daytime hours of those three days, schedule an appointment slot before 5:00 PM, so as to save the 5:00 - 7:00 time slots for those parents (or students) who may be at work during the daytime hours. 

We plan to take three photos for each graduate as follows: 1) A photo of the graduate, only. 2) A photo of the graduate receiving his/her diploma from a staff member. 3) A photo of the graduate and up to six members of his/her household or family. We ask for your cooperation so that no more than six (6) people accompany the graduate into the high school, due to the social distancing and gathering issues. 

We also ask that all grads with their families enter through Door S-3 (the "pass gate door") which is on the east (Whitelaw Ave.) side of the Gym, adjacent to the Graphic Arts room. We also ask that everyone keep the required 6' intervals on the sidewalk coming into Door S-3. To assist you in that, we plan on having reminder markers outside and inside to keep those distances apart. Lastly, after the photo session is done, we ask that grads and families leave via the front entrance to the Gym (adjacent to the Gym parking lot). Please do not arrive to the high school Gym more than 15 minutes before your appointment, so as to reduce the risk of crowding and insufficient distancing protection. 

We ask that our graduates all wear their cap and gown for the photos. This is because this video graduation ceremony might be the only official graduation ceremony, if we are not permitted to use that July 24th date for a regular ceremony. We will have an employee able to assist grads with their caps and gowns, if necessary. 


The culminating activity to the Graduate photo-shoot, will be a Friday night (June 5th) Class of 2020 car parade. In cooperation with the City of Wood River and WRPD, we will sponsor a parade of student cars. The parade route begins at the Memorial Gym lot, proceeding south along Wood River Avenue towards downtown. Then, the route will turn and go east on Ferguson Avenue, ending at the US Post Office. 

Line-up for the Parade will begin at 6:30 in the Gym parking lot. Staff will there to line-up cars and to supervise things. We ask that graduates stay in their vehicles during this line-up. Also, any decorating of cars or displaying posters with graduates' names will be the responsibility of the graduate and his/her family. The parade will begin at 7:00 PM.

Further, we ask that all graduates and their passengers remain in the vehicles during the parade and practice safe habits. Parents: If a graduate is injured or hurts someone due to any horseplay or unsafe driving, please be advised that the liability in such a case is first the responsibility of the owner and insurance carrier of that automobile. Please remind your student of that.


Although we noted earlier that the video presentation of Graduation will likely be the only ceremony, EAWR still has Friday, July 24th penciled in for an in-person Graduation ceremony. We also have an in-person Prom penciled in for Saturday, July 25th. Unless the phase-in plan of the state of Illinois changes, our region (southern Illinois) would have to be in Phase V in order to have either of those large gatherings. We encourage you to mark those two dates on your calendars, however, just in case .... 

EAWR is very proud of our students in the Class of 2020 and, despite the upheaval in their high school senior experience these last couple of months, we are planning to create some fun memories for these students and to give them some of the recognition they have missed. Congratulations to our Class of 2020!



                                                                                    Dr. John Pearson,

                                                                                    District Superintendent