INDIANAPOLIS — It was not a traditional graduation, not by any stretch of the imagination. But this was not a traditional school year.
The Indianapolis Public Schools system began a series of virtual graduation ceremonies Thursday, first at Crispus Attucks High School and then Arsenal Tech. Shortridge and George Washington high schools will graduate Friday.
These are professionally done video productions, featuring student musicians and short talks from administrators and students.
Attucks Principal Lauren Franklin noted this was the 70th commencement at the historic Indianapolis high school where 238 students received their diplomas this year.
One of the outstanding Attucks students spoke. Faith Harrington finished with a 4.17 GPA and will attend DePauw University.
IPS, along with school system across the state, shut down in March when COVID-19 became a serious concern.
Due to health risks associated with COVID-19, the district administration — along with input from high school principals and current seniors — decided to replace traditional in-person graduations with online commencement exercises.
“We didn’t make this decision lightly,” said Aleesia Johnson, IPS superintendent. “We assembled an advisory group of high school seniors to get their ideas. In the end, students wanted to mark their graduation, as scheduled, in June and felt a virtual celebration was a fitting option in a time of social distancing.”