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UCSD Prom Cancelled, Graduation Goes Virtual, As Schools Remain Closed Through End Of School Year

Laura Kraegel



Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced on Thursday that schools in Alaska will remain closed through the end of the school year.

Unalaska City School District Superintendent John Conwell said local schools will continue home-based education through May 29, 2020.

"For the last two weeks, we've been implementing home-based education," said Conwell. "We're getting some great reports of this working, and we're improving everyday. So we'll continue to provide as high quality home-based education as we can through the end of the school year."  

Conwell said that due to the school closures and coronavirus prevention mandates, the high school prom, which was scheduled for May 2, is cancelled. In addition, the Class of 2020 graduation ceremony, scheduled for May 16, will not be held in the high school's big gym.  

"We are looking at some other possible events or ideas we can do to celebrate the graduation," said Conwell. "We are waiting on the guidance of the state to figure out what we can and can't do."

In order to follow mandates that include social distancing and non-congregating, Conwell said the administration, parents, and high school seniors have begun looking at some other, possibly virtual, ideas to celebrate the senior class. 

"We will be working hard to come up with some ideas for making this a memorable year for the seniors, in a positive way, because they've had a pretty rough year," said Conwell. "So we're really going to do our best to try to do something to make it memorable and fun, even though we are under these very unusual circumstances."

Conwell said the community should anticipate and prepare for a graduation event that will look and feel much different from past graduations. 


The school district will provide graduation event plan updates in the near future.

Hope McKenney is a public radio news director, reporter, producer and host based in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska.
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