Principal News & Notes

an e-newsletter from Principal Bruggers

May 4, 2020

Graduation Plans & Other Updates

As we shared last week, we have been very active lately in finding ways to honor our seniors during this unexpected spring season of school closures and distance learning. This includes planning for graduation. After meetings last week to gather student input, and meetings taking place this week, we’ve made some progress we’d like to share with you. Let’s start with graduation.

Delayed commencement ceremony

Students consistently told us they want some type of in-person event. So, we have tentatively scheduled an in-person graduation event for July 30 at Roy Wilkins Auditorium for interested students and families. This is, of course, entirely dependent on guidance promised in the coming weeks from the state departments of Health and Education. We will share more information about this in the future when the State makes clear the viability of these celebrations for all Minnesota high schools.

Virtual ceremony

Students said if an in-person event isn’t possible, they’d appreciate some type of personalized virtual celebration. So regardless of the planned July 30 event that we hope is possible, we will be joining most of our fellow Suburban East Conference schools in developing a singular, comprehensive virtual graduation event for our school. This video ceremony will recreate many elements of our typical graduation ceremony, including visual and audio recognition of each individual graduate. We will invite anyone interested to a live-streamed virtual watch party and invite families to watch the event simultaneously on June 1 (time to be determined). We will share updates and information on


In order to make graduation feel as special as possible for our seniors, we are assembling a graduation-in-a-box for pick-up at school prior to the virtual ceremony on June 1. This will include a cap, gown, diploma cover and also a few surprises for our seniors! We will share more details on picking these up in the coming weeks.

Yard signs

If you were unable to pick up your Class of 2020 yard sign on Saturday, you can pick up tonight (5/4) from 6:30-8:00 PM at 4450 Morningside Avenue in Vadnais Heights. If you’d still like to order a yard sign, contact for ordering information, before Friday (5/8).

Spring awards

We’re taking care to make sure senior awards are announced and distributed to recipients as safely as possible. We are still planning details for distribution of these awards and will share our final plans in the coming weeks.

Car parades and stadium lights

Please know that we want to bring seniors back together on campus in the future, but only in a manner that health officials deem safe for all participants. We don’t know when that would be or what that would look like. In the meantime, our goal is to avoid hosting events that are difficult to guarantee distancing like vehicle parades leading crowds to the school property or inviting students to gather for stadium lighting events. Be assured that when it’s safe, we will consider how we can host a reunion-of-sorts for our seniors.

Grace in grading

We believe this unprecedented situation of distance learning should not adversely affect a student's future. It is our intention that every student will progress to the next school level, and our goal is no “incomplete” grades. Please know that teachers are trusted to use personal judgment, discretion and empathy when dealing with specific students and specific situations. All teachers are also trusted with making judgment calls to ensure each individual student is provided with every opportunity to find whatever level of success they are seeking. Students should contact their teacher or dean, if they have a question about their progress or grades.

Finally, I want to express my sincere appreciation for the understanding, patience and grace so many of you have shown us. As a parent myself, I know this isn’t an easy time -- especially for seniors and their parents. All of us here will continue to work hard to find ways to honor and recognize students in a way that they desire, with an eye on the health and safety of all.

Stephanie Bruggers


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