Mason City Schools Class of 2020 Headquarters

Mason City Schools Class of 2020 Headquarters
Posted on 05/05/2020

We are extremely proud of the class of 2020, and all that they have accomplished over the years.  While the end to this school year has been like no other, we remain excited about the bright future of our MHS seniors.  We pride ourselves at Mason City Schools on our culture.  It is a culture built on a foundation that our beliefs drive specific behaviors that produce key outcomes.  The class of 2020 has been a shining example of this culture during the last two months of this school year.

Over the last month, our district and high school staff have been working diligently to develop plans for William Mason High School’s graduation ceremony and senior traditions. During this time, we have worked in partnership with our public health partners and elected officials. As the Governor’s orders have shifted, so have our plans. Here are the guidelines that were shared by the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Health yesterday. Below are the plans for the 2020 Mason High School Graduation, and a video of our vision. 

Senior Traditions 

  • Mason Rock: We plan to have the MHS Rock painted to honor the Class of 2020 by May 8th. We ask that if you are taking pictures of your senior at the rock, that you maintain social distancing and follow state safety directives.
  • Senior Bike Ride & Senior Breakfast: The MHS senior class didn’t have the opportunity to participate in beloved traditions such as the Senior Bike Ride, Senior Breakfast, and other events Mason seniors have come to know and count on.  Because many of these events take place outside, it gives us hope that the Class of 2020 may still be able to enjoy these rite-of-passage experiences.  We would love to hold the Senior Bike Ride in August, and will keep everyone updated on possibilities throughout the summer.

Cap, Gown, and Awards/Cords Distribution: May 19th & May 20th  

Members of the Class of 2020 and/or families will drive to the MHS Natatorium entrance to collect their caps, gowns, cords, awards, and any other items of recognition.  These items will be placed in the Class of 2020 (or their families) vehicle trunks.  Students may not exit their vehicles during this time.  MHS Staff will be present to assist with the distribution of the materials, and to cheer on our Comets (from 6 feet away).  Below are the designated dates and times for students arranged alphabetically:

  • May 19th: MHS Class of 2020 students with last names A through G (10:00am-1:30pm)
  • May 19th: MHS Class of 2020 students with last names H through O (1:30pm-5:00pm)
  • May 20th: MHS Class of 2020 students with last names P through S (10:00am-1:30pm)
  • May 20th: MHS Class of 2020 students with last names T through Z (1:30pm-5:00pm)

Operation Diploma Delivery to Grads: May 22nd 

Mason City Schools Board of Education, administrative team, teaching staff, and bus drivers will personally deliver diplomas to students’ houses on Friday, May 22nd.  Seniors will have the opportunity to wear their caps, gowns, and cords while they receive their diplomas, and have a photographer capture this #MasonMoment in front of a specially decorated Class of 2020 Comet Connector Bus. Those photographs will be posted in a Facebook album on the Mason Schools Facebook page. 

Staff will wear masks and gloves during Operation Diploma Delivery. Diploma delivery will begin at 9:00am and last until approximately 5:00pm.  Here is the sign up form to share if your family will be participating. Please complete this form by May 8th. By May 15th, we will share a schedule with more detailed timing for when each student’s diploma will be delivered to their homes.  In addition, we will publish when the Class of 2020 Comet Connector Buses are coming to neighborhoods, so that members of the community can also cheer for our grads.

If students and families are unable to have their diploma delivered to them on May 22nd, or choose to opt-out of this event, diplomas will also be available for pick-up at the high school on May 23rd from 10:00am -1:00pm. 

Virtual Graduation & Parade of Graduates: May 24th 

On May 24th at 2:00pm, the Mason High School Class of 2020 Graduation ceremony will begin.  The ceremony will consist of a blend of live and recorded speeches, music, and a true #MasonMoment for turning of the tassels.  Mason City Schools is working to produce a one-of-a-kind ceremony, allowing students and families to view and cheer together as each of our 887 MHS graduates is recognized during the ceremony. The ceremony will be readily available for out of town family members to view, and will also later air on local cable TV and be archived on the district’s YouTube page.  

Following the ceremony, the Class of 2020 will participate in a CommUNITY parade in their 

honor. The parade will begin at approximately 5:00pm and take place on a decentralized path throughout the Mason community so that there isn’t a central starting area which could lead to a mass gathering. Students and families will be able to decorate their cars and be recognized by their family and friends throughout Mason.  To ensure safe social distancing, students and families will remain in their cars and parade viewers should maintain 6 feet of distance between each other.  The parade is voluntary for students and families.  We will send out more information about the route as we get closer to the date.

In-Person Graduation Ceremonies

We have submitted a plan to Governor DeWine to have a physical graduation ceremony in shifts at Dwire Field at Atrium Stadium. Based on the state’s latest guidance, it looks most likely that we will need to move forward with our plans for Operation Diploma Delivery and a Virtual Graduation. We commit to giving members of the Class of 2020 the option to have an in-person ceremony at the Cintas Center in May 2021. While this isn’t ideal, it does provide the opportunity for members of the Class of 2020 to participate in a traditional Mason High School graduation ceremony.  

It Is Our Honor to Serve You
On behalf of the staff at MHS, I want to let you know how much we miss our students.  Graduation for the Class of 2020 has been impacted by COVID-19 and the adjustments we have all had to make in our lives. But, often, just beneath the surface of struggle lies opportunity; in every loss lies the chance to reconsider, refocus and reimagine. We recognize graduation will be far from the traditional ceremony that we all anticipate each year, but we will do our very best to make it memorable for our students and their families. We hope the Class of 2020 will remember this season as a moment of recognition, connection and appreciation. Not a single event, but a multi-step celebration of the students in this class and heartfelt thank you from the staff, students and residents of a grateful, proud community. 

We look forward to the day when the Class of 2020 can return to MHS, and we can wish them well as they head off to their bright futures.

2020 Graduation Headquarters
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