Letter to the Class of 2020

Dearest Class of 2020,

Your senior year will be one that you will remember for years to come. This year is filled with many memories and traditions you will cherish. This last month has been difficult for you with many traditional endings to a traditional senior year being canceled. However, the one thing that has not changed is our devotion to you and the honoring of your high school completion. In light of the restrictions imposed on schools and the social distancing guidance that probably will not be lifted until a vaccine is produced (6-18 months from now), the possibility of a traditional graduation would be slim even if delayed. In making this decision, the Barton School District does not want to delay our seniors who plan to start college this summer, enter the military, or begin work immediately. Our devotion to you has not changed, and we wish to honor you with a graduation like no other graduation in the history of the Barton School District. The following is our plan to honor you:

1. The week prior to the original graduation date (May 11), each senior will have an individualized Facebook post on the Barton School District Facebook page honoring you for your achievement. Each day that week a few seniors will be posted, so be watching our page for your individualized post. Fill free to comment and wish each of your classmates the best.

2. At noon on May 11, your videoed graduation program (very similar to the program you would have received in a traditional ceremony) will be released for you to view with your cherished loved ones. This video will include speeches from your fellow students in addition to your senior video. A copy of this video will also be provided to you for a keep sake. Students making speeches will be notified once all senior work has been submitted (April 27-29) and grades have been finalized.

3. We realize the need to have an actual diploma presentation time. To accomplish this, the Barton School District will provide each senior the opportunity (May 12-14th ) for an individualized diploma presentation in front of the iconic bear statue memorial located at Partner’s Bank Stadium (this would be a good time to wear your cap and gown). In the case of rain, the presentation will be made on the stage of the Kirkland Multipurpose Facility. A sign up link will be released to our Facebook and school website page Friday, May 1, at 9 A.M. for you to reserve your time. To accomplish this with-in CDC guidelines, we ask that you limit your party to no more than 10 people for this moment. All seniors will also be receiving a surprise as our way of saying we love and care about you. If you chose not to participate in an individualized moment, then you may pick up your diploma and surprise from the high school office May 11-14th from 8-11 A.M. or 12-2 P.M.

4. Finally, all of our seniors will be honored in a full page color ad featured in the May 13th edition of the Helena World newspaper.

We understand that this is not what you expected when you were thinking about your graduation at the beginning of the school year. It has always been our desire, in light of the current situation, for you to have as much of an experience as possible while still maintaining a safe environment for all parties involved. Just know, we are proud of you and wish all of you the best on your next adventure in life.