Graduation Ceremony Information
2021 Graduation Update: March 22, 2021
King County, along with the rest of the Puget Sound region, entered into Phase three of Governor Inslee’s Healthy Washington Roadmap to Recovery. There are a number of guidance documents that have been updated, revised, or created to guide communities in meeting updated guidelines.
When planning for in-person graduation, commencement, or moving up ceremonies, K-12 schools, colleges and universities must follow Governor Inslee’s Healthy Washington Roadmap to Recovery guidance for miscellaneous venues and outdoor spectator events.
In addition to mask and physical distancing requirements, this guidance will limit capacity depending on which phase the county where the school or college or university is located and outline additional requirements based on the event. Students who are graduating or moving up do not count toward the capacity restrictions. K-12 schools and colleges and universities should consider multiple, smaller events that do not overlap if capacity requirements are a limiting factor.
Kent School District graduation planning is also aligned to the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) 2021 Graduation and Commencement Ceremonies (PDF).
If schools would like to plan a spring prom or other dance, they should use the Weddings, Funerals and Events during COVID-19 (PDF) guidance available from the Washington State Department of Health (DOH). This guidance provides additional detail to the venue-specific information available in the Healthy Washington Roadmap to Recovery document. The guidance includes capacity limits in addition to distancing requirements and masking
2021 Graduation Update: February 5, 2021
We are excited to announce the dates for the Kent School District 2021 Graduation Ceremonies. We make this announcement and decision now, in February 2021, recognizing that this month marks our county's eleventh consecutive month managing the impacts of a global health crisis and that we currently remain in Phase 1 under the Governor's "Healthy Washington — Roadmap to Recovery," plan.
Public Health officials continue to advise us that gathering in groups—even with people we know—may spread COVID-19. Therefore, the safest action, especially for students, families, and staff in a high-risk category, is to avoid gatherings and find different ways to celebrate. We also make this announcement with full hearts, wanting to partner with our students and families to plan and prepare to celebrate this exceptional class of students graduating during this extraordinary time.
- Kent Academy: Thursday, June 17
- The Outreach Program (TOP): Thursday, June 17
- Kentlake High School: Friday, June 18
- Kent-Meridian High School (with iGrad): Friday, June 18
- iGrad (partnered with Kent-Meridian): Friday, June 18
- Kentridge High School: Saturday, June 19
- Kentwood High School: Saturday, June 19
Times and details of graduation events will be announced at a future date.
Who Can Attend?
- The graduation ceremony at each school will honor candidates for graduation and provide students an opportunity to walk across the stage with (4) family members watching graduates receive their diploma cover while wearing their cap and gown.
- The school-based student-centered graduation ceremonies help us keep the graduate and their families in one car, allowing us to hold our events for one day and maximize safety and efficiency.
- Photos will be taken for the virtual graduation ceremony. Additionally, professional photos of each graduate will be available for purchase.
- The public is asked to avoid our high school campus during the ceremony to help ensure we do not violate state and county guidelines for this event.
- We will monitor changes to public health guidelines as the event draws near.
Tickets & Arrival
- To ensure we can follow social distancing guidelines, there will be scheduled arrival times at each school.
- Students and families may receive graduation tickets with specific arrival times from their school. Schools will communicate directly with families about arrival times, traffic directions, and detailed instructions for the event, much like pre-COVID graduation events.
Student & Family Guidance at Graduation Events
To ensure social distancing while honoring our seniors, our families will comply with the following procedures:
- Students and their families will arrive in a single-vehicle at the designated time. Families and students are encouraged to decorate their vehicles.
- Families will follow the map provided by each school to show where to enter the school grounds and the route to follow.
- Families will drive to a designated area where there will be a stage and a family viewing area.
- Families will remain in the vehicle until told to exit.
- When directed, students will proceed to the stage where they will have their names read aloud, and they will walk across the stage to receive their diplomas. A professional photographer will be present to take photos.
- Students will also receive a Commencement Program to remember this important milestone.
- Families may exit their vehicle to view their students walking across the stage. Families must remain in the area designated for this purpose. Families are not to leave this area.
- Students and families will then re-enter the vehicle and proceed either off-campus using the designated route or to a designated photo area for family photos.
If you have questions about your student's participation in this event, please contact your school.
Prom & Grad Night Events
Under the Governor’s "Healthy Washington — Roadmap to Recovery" plan, due to the household limitations of group gatherings and group limitations, in-person and grad night events are not being planned for this year.