Senior Special Events
Thank you for your patience as we worked with all parties involved to host events to honor our seniors. We are excited that we are able to host these events, albeit at a different time, and some at different locations, to celebrate the Class of 2020. Even not during a pandemic, it is a difficult to find dates for events that work for everybody, and when we are dealing with different venues and people, it was especially daunting. There have been some changes to the original plans. Please read below and click this link for updates.
Dear Senior Parent(s),
I pray that this letter finds all of you healthy and rested. I also pray that your homes are filled with laughter and peace, and your lives have returned to normal. The Dwenger administration has been in frequent communication with our Catholic Schools Office and other diocesan principals as we plan our school re-enter plan (2020-21) in the Fall. During these planning sessions and discussions, we frequently turn our attention to the Class of 2020. It has been our goal to try to keep the special, senior events that everyone looks forward to with anticipation. These events are not just for celebration and acknowledgement; they have become traditional Dwenger rites of passage. We decided to schedule for these events late in July, hoping that all (or most) restrictions that we lived under for the past 4 months would be behind us. Most everyone from whom we sought counsel agreed.
“Hope travels faster than a virus! It is more contagious. We need to give the strength of faith and the gift of hope.” -- Pope Francis
I am happy to report that our Baccalaureate Mass with Bishop Rhoades is scheduled for July 20 at 5:30 pm in our main gymnasium. The Bishop’s Office requests that we treat this event like our churches, by maintaining social distancing during Mass. Therefore, we will require that masks be worn during service, with 6’ distance between each family sitting in the same row. Additionally, we will need to make sure there is an empty row between occupied rows to assist with the distancing. This Mass and award ceremony will be live streamed.
Unfortunately, this spacing will require us to only allow 4 guests per senior to attend. No tickets will be distributed; instead guests will need to sign in. Once a graduate’s name has 4 attendees listed on our roster, no more guests will be permitted under this graduate’s name.
The next event is prom on July 25, 8:00-11:00 pm. We are hosting prom in our main gymnasium. We are using this space because it is large and has excellent ventilation. This event has been a topic of great discussion lately among administrators, lead teachers, and legal counsel. Following Gov. Holcomb’s lead, we recommend our seniors and their guests to wear a mask, but also understand that is event will be very difficult to monitor and enforce social distancing.
Therefore, there is a waiver for all senior parents, BD student, and guest to complete who have a student attending prom. It is also important for our parents to forward the link to the parents of their child’s guest (if a non-BD student). It is imperative to understand that canceling prom, if deemed necessary, is contingent on state and county health updates and/or alerts and could occur up to 24 hours prior to the event. We hope that this will not occur, but it is plausible given the fluidity of decisions that have been made by state and local officials.
Lastly, I want to address graduation. It is with a heavy heart I need to report that we will not be able to celebrate our graduation at The Embassy Theatre this year. The restrictions they put in place would make it impossible to seat our graduates and their parents/guardian in the allotted space. Therefore, we will use our BD gymnasium to host our 2020 Commencement on July 27, starting with the video at 6 pm and the ceremony at 6:30 pm. I know this is a disappointment to all. I assure you, the BD administration, including myself, appealed and attempted to reverse these restrictions, but were unsuccessful. We understand that our gymnasium is not The Embassy, nor the atmosphere it provides, but we are very proud of it! It serves as a wonderful home and backdrop to this most celebrated event.
Our gymnasium was renovated in 2014, with new bleachers and air conditioning. As mentioned in a previous communication, we had originally thought of our stadium as a great venue for graduation, but reconsidered after discussing the possible uncertainties, such as rain, extreme heat, traffic noise, discourteous drivers honking and shouting, and very loud radios. Undoubtedly, any of this would adversely impact our graduation as a prayer service.
In order to maintain social distancing at graduation, like Baccalaureate, we will require that only 4 guests attend per senior. Again, NO tickets will be distributed; instead, the graduate’s 4 guests will need to check in to ensure their space, like using a Century Club membership at an athletic event. Masks will need to be worn during the ceremony and social distancing in the bleachers will be the same as at baccalaureate, so there will be an empty row between occupied rows, and families are 6’ apart if sitting in the same row. The event will be live streamed for family members that cannot attend. A link will be sent to senior families several days prior. We know this is still not ideal, but we are proud that we can still offer this for our graduates, albeit an abridged version. Thank you for your prayers and support. This is not perfect, but together we can get through this. Let’s practice what St. Padre Pio told the faithful: “Pray, hope, and don’t worry.”
July 6 & 7 No longer Ticket Pickup Days. Each graduate will be allotted 4 seats for guests for Baccalaureate Mass and 4 seats for Commencement (graduates do not need a ticket). Guests will check in at the SAC Door. Once a graduate’s name has 4 attendees listed on our roster, no more guests will be permitted under this graduate’s name.
July 20 5:30 pm – Baccalaureate Mass & Senior Honor Night – BD Main Gymnasium
July 21 Prom Consent Form must be signed by every attendee. This includes non-BD guests. Please forward the link to them.
July 25 8-11 pm – Prom – BD Main Gymnasium.
July 27 6 pm – Commencement – BD Main Gymnasium
Please see the accompanying revised information sheet for more detail.
Gratefully yours in service,
Jason Schiffli, Principal