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Canal Winchester Local Schools News Article

Graduation 2020

 UPDATE Fri May 1st, 2020
 Dear Senior Families,

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this difficult time.  We have been working hard to create the best scenarios for our Class of 2020 events including graduation.  The Governor of Ohio along with the Franklin County Board of Health and Ohio Department of Education have provided the rules in which we will conduct these events.

On May 12th, 13th and 14th from 9:00am – 1:00pm seniors and four guests will be coming to the high school to be pre-recorded for our graduation ceremony.  Students should be in proper attire including cap and gown. The video will be available on Saturday, May 30th,2020 at 11:00am on the district website www.cwschools.org, and will remain on the district website throughout the summer.


Tue May 12th students with last names beginning with:

A-C should report to the high school between 9:00am – 11:00am. 

D-F should report to the high school between 11:00am – 1:00pm.

Wed May13th students with last names beginning with:

G-J should report to the high school between 9:00am – 11:00am

K-N should report to the high school between 11:00am-1:00pm. 

Thu May 14th students with last names beginning with:

O-S should report to the high school between 9:00am-11:00am

T-Z should report to the high school between 11:00am – 1:00pm.

Students who have a conflict with the times above may schedule an appointment with Mr. Nathan Weidner at: nweidner@cwls.us to have their video recording done on either Wednesday, May 13th, or on Tuesday, May 19th from 5-7pm.


Failure to follow the instructions below will result in forfeiture of participation in the event.  This is for the health and safety of all involved.

Student and four guests should arrive in the same car. Four guests will be strictly enforced. Students are to enter our parking lot off of Dietz Road.  When turning onto the access road that leads to the parking lot students will be given a notecard with a number.  Students are to hold onto this card and remain in their cars until their number is called.  Only 25 cars will be allowed to park in our lot at one time.  All other cars will be held in a line on the access road.  Students will be directed where to park once in our lot.  When a student’s number is called he/she, along with up to four family members, will enter the building and check in.

Students will be given a sheet of paper with his/her name on it.  The student will then be directed where to stand.  Once the student enters the gym the student will hold up the name sheet allowing our Senior Class Secretary to see the student’s name.  This is being done because we know not all students will be available for the pre-recording at their scheduled time and students will be out of alphabetical order.

Once the student’s name is read the student will proceed to a table where all of the diploma jackets will be.  The student will then pick up a diploma jacket and pause long enough to get their picture taken with either Mr. James Sotlar, Superintendent of Canal Winchester Local Schools, or with Mr. Henderson C.W.H.S. Principal.  Once the student has had his/her picture taken the student and guests are to exit the building and head immediately to their car.  Students are to exit our property onto Washington Street.  As that car exits our lot another car will be able to enter our lot and park.  Again, waiting in their car until their number is called.

Senior diplomas will be mailed home and should arrive between Saturday, May 302020 and Wednesday, June 32020.


On Wednesday, May 27th 2020 we will hold a Senior Parade instead of the traditional Senior Walk.  This event will begin in the morning and conclude a few hours after.  This event is for our senior students and we will share more details including the parade route as we get closer to the event. The safety and logistics of this event are being worked out to ensure the parade is a success.


This event will also be shown virtually on our district website on Wednesday, May 272020.  The video will be available to be viewed starting at 6:30pm.


Due to the Governor’s directive of no mass gatherings the Baccalaureate ceremony for this year has been canceled.

I hope everyone is staying safe and I look forward to seeing your student(s) over the next several weeks!


Kirk Henderson, Principal

Canal Winchester High School


April 27, 2020

Dear CWHS Seniors & Families,

I want to thank everyone for sending me their creative ideas for the graduation ceremony. I truly appreciate your insights in trying to find the best ways to honor and recognize the Class of 2020. I, Mr. Henderson, and the Board of Education want nothing more than a traditional graduation ceremony for the seniors. However, we are in the middle of a health pandemic that is affecting people across the world causing us to live our daily lives differently. Following the guidelines sent out by the Ohio Department of Education last Thursday and the stay-at-home orders issued by the Governor, I have made the decision to have a modified virtual graduation ceremony. This was not an easy decision to make and my heart breaks for our seniors, but this is the best decision and in the best interest for everyone’s, health, wellness, and safety.


The modified virtual graduation ceremony will consist of pre-recording each student in their cap and gown taking the traditional walk to receive their diploma and have their picture taken.  Additional recordings will be made and then edited together into a full ceremony that will include:

1.     Mr. Henderson’s introduction

2.     Valedictorian speech

3.     Presentation of Class- Senior Class Secretary

4.     Acknowledgement of graduation- Senior Class President


The final video will be produced and will be shown online Saturday May 30th at 11AM. 


Further instructions will be sent out about the graduation but here is a snapshot.  Each graduate will be allowed four guests to accompany them at the diploma recording.  Graduates will be assigned a specific time to arrive at the high school to ensure we are doing all that we can to keep everyone safe. We will keep groups small and the recordings will occur over several days, May 12th, 13th and 14th. Guests will arrive with the student and escort the student as they make the walk through the building to the new gym. Students will then proceed with receiving their diploma and guests can watch from middle of the gym and then exit together. The modified graduation will take place in the newly constructed auxiliary gym. In honor of these graduates, we will dedicate the new auxiliary gym to the Class of 2020! 


More information will be forthcoming detailing the process for this graduation ceremony. We hope all families will assist in following the instructions set forth to keep all participants safe during this event.


If it becomes safe for us to gather later this summer, we will explore opportunities to recognize the class of 2020. Mr. Henderson is talking with the senior class officers to explore options. We do not know what it will look like or when it could happen. There are just too may unknowns out there at this time.


Please do not allow these unfortunate circumstances of the health emergency to overshadow the great accomplishment of graduating from high school. We know it is not fair to miss out on so much during your senior year, but please know that we hold you all in the highest esteem and are so proud of the way you have handled this huge disappointment. The Class of 2020 will always be remembered for the sacrifices they have made for the health and wellbeing of all. They will never be forgotten! 2020 Strong!



James Sotlar


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