Marana Unified School District will host graduation for its Class of 2021.
MUSD Director of Public Relations and Community Engagement Alli Benjamin said district officials were working with the Pima County Health Department and had determined, based on the number of COVID-19 cases declining throughout the district, that they will be able to offer graduation ceremonies.
“MUSD families are ready and excited to celebrate their Class of 2021 graduates,” said Benjamin. “With our schools open and staff members and teachers continuing to practice our thorough mitigation strategies, we are very happy to offer this milestone celebration in safe settings.”
All three high schools (Marana, Mountain View, and MCAT) will provide four tickets per graduating senior. All graduation ceremonies require everyone to wear masks and have social distancing guidelines. Mountain View High School families or units will be required to remain 6 feet apart, but for Marana High Schools units will only be required to maintain a distance of 3 feet.
Marana and Mountain View High School are also offering alternative graduation ceremonies for students who do not wish to take part in the main event. They will be able to go up on a stage and receive their diploma with their immediate family present. For Marana High School’s Socially Distanced Graduation Ceremony, at scheduled times students will receive their diploma with at most four guests present.
Marana is not actively encouraging either staff or students to get vaccinated prior to the events.
There are no plans for additional celebration for the Class of 2020.
Amphitheater School District schools will be announcing their graduation and prom plans this week.
Tucson Unified School District officials announced on Wednesday, March 31, that they will have senior prom and graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2021.
Graduation ceremonies will be held outside at each of the high schools respective stadiums and will follow safety protocols, including masks and physical distancing of 3 to 6 feet apart per CDC guidelines. Each graduate has a limit of four guests, each guest must have a physical ticket. Tickets will be pre-sold to ensure capacity limits.
Each school will determine if they are going to offer food on-site for the event and if offered food would be prepackaged or provided by food trucks in a designated area with sanitized tables and handwashing stations located away from the main dance floor.
TUSD Superintendent Dr. Gabriel Trujillo, said they are not mandating vaccines, but are “strongly encouraging” all seniors to be fully vaccinated, preferably receiving both doses but at least a first dose at least two weeks prior to graduation or prom.
Senior prom will be held outdoors at each high school campus, with options of hosting prom in a large courtyard, stadium, or soccer field.
Trujillo said now is the time and is confident these activities can resume because of the increase in vaccine availability.
When TUSD surveyed staff three weeks ago, almost half of their staff had been vaccinated, with 4,600 out of 7,800 employees having received at least their first vaccine and awaiting for their second appointment. Trujillo said he believed that number has increased since then.
The district has also been working with the Pima County Health Department. He also said the TUSD community has been “incredibly supportive” and has seen “both compliance and commitment to mask wearing from our guests, anytime.”
He said he made a commitment early on this year to pursue the possibility of facilitating a safe event for their seniors.
“I’m still troubled by my decision, and that’s mine, I had to make it alone to cancel graduations last year,” laments Trujillo. “It’s something that still kind of haunts me. It’s something I have difficulty with personally and professionally, especially when I come into contact with Class of 2020 kids and though that contact is always positive and fun when I run into TUSD alumni, there’s just a hint of sadness that they didn’t get that experience.”