Peoria HS graduation

Peoria Unified's 2019 graduation ceremony.

PEORIA, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- It's turning out to be a double disappointment for graduating seniors in the Peoria Unified School District. Their graduation ceremony has now been cancelled for a second time.

Back in May, most Phoenix-area districts cancelled their 2020 graduation ceremonies due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Several districts rescheduled their ceremonies for the summer.

Peoria Unified students were supposed to have their ceremonies on June 26 and 27 at State Farm Stadium. But on Monday, Peoria officials announced that those ceremonies will be cancelled as well, due to ongoing fears about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Below is the letter sent to families in the district:

Dear Graduates and Families:

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the cancellation of our graduation ceremonies that were rescheduled to take place June 25, 26 and 27. Given the increase in COVID-19 cases, we have determined it is not in the best interest of our students, staff, parents and community to proceed with these events.

As we shared in our recent survey communication, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) has released guidance recommending that mass events, specifically graduations, do not take place at this time. We received this guidance at the beginning of June but were hopeful that our state would begin to see a decline in cases. As recently as this morning, we reached out to the county again to see if the guidance had changed and unfortunately, it has not.

Safety has always been our first priority and we do not feel we can in good conscience proceed with an event that may jeopardize the health and well-being of our graduates, families and staff. We are devastated that we will not be able to celebrate our graduates for their achievements in the way we had originally planned and in the way that they deserve. We will remember the Class of 2020 fondly, and we know that they will continue to impact the world with a legacy beyond our current pandemic.

Graduates would have been permitted to have up to two guests, and the ceremonies would have been livestreamed to the district’s YouTube channel.

There's no word yet on when or if those ceremonies might ever be rescheduled.

Dysart Unified School District is still set to hold graduation ceremonies at State Farm Stadium on June 30, and the Deer Valley Unified School District is still scheduled to follow suit on July 2 and 3, according to their websites. 


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