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FHS Class Of 2020 Modified Graduation To Include Virtual Reality Program, Visits To Campus

The FHS Class of 2020’s graduation observance will be unlike any other.

The Franklin High School Class of 2020’s graduation will be much different than in years’ past, and will include a short visit to the campus and a virtual reality presentation by an alum.

Details of what the graduation observance will be were included in a letter to parents and students from FHS principal Frank Chmiel.

Students will pick up their diploma covers by appointment from June 8-19, Chmiel said in the letter.

“We have heard the voices of our Franklin High School students, who desire to come back even for a small portion of the commencement activities,” he wrote.

Seniors, who will be in their graduation regalia, will be able to drive through the school’s bus lane, exit their cars and receive their diploma cover, when they will be photographed, Chmiel wrote.

No more than 10 students and four members of their families will be allowed on campus each hour, Chmiel wrote.

The photos will later be included in a video which will be sent to the graduates, he wrote.

The graduates will also return whatever school materials they have at that time, and will pick up their gift bags, which will include a Class of 2020 t-shirt, keychain, and a virtual reality headset, he wrote.


Read Chmiel’s letter here.


The senior’s gift pack will include a virtual reality headset so they may be able to view a 3-D presentation of a spoken word piece written by Queena Bergen, Class of 2012, Chmiel said in the letter. The piece will be performed by Bergen and several student speakers.

There will also be a video “of speeches by the Class of 2020 Class President, Valedictorian, Salutatorian, Principal, and a distinguished FHS Alumni
guest speaker, who will provide the keynote speech,” Chmiel wrote. District spokeswoman Mary Clark said the valedictorian and salutatorian have not yet been chosen.

“The video will include a multitude of special effects and music, highlights from the Class of 2020’s high school years, and performances by members of the Franklin High School Choir,” Chmiel wrote.

Chmiel wrote that the plan must still be approved by the township.

“Rest assured that everyone involved in the physical portion of the Commencement will be wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) and observing physical distancing,” he wrote.

“To our Class of 2020, their families, and to our larger Franklin Community, the Franklin High School Graduation Team has been working wholeheartedly doing everything in its power to honor our Senior graduates,” Chmiel wrote. “Our hearts go out to them. We feel how important Senior year is, and to have so many of the hallmarks of the year taken away is tragic.”

“It is our hope that the combination of in-person experience, the array of Class of 2020 gifts including the VR headset, and unique, hybrid Virtual Reality Graduation experience will demonstrate our commitment to the Class of 2020,” he wrote.

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