Denfeld Class of 2020
Events and News
Graduation from high school is one of life’s great milestones. We know that many of you have been anticipating and planning for this date for years. The staff at Denfeld High School always strive to make graduation and the commencement ceremony special experiences that recognize the hard work, dedication and achievements of every Denfeld senior, and this year is no exception. We have been having discussions, both formal and informal, with staff, students and parents since we learned that it was first anticipated that current circumstances could mandate a new approach to graduation.
The goal of our planning has been to provide a memorable and appropriate senior spring experience understanding that we have to do what is right to honor our seniors, but also keep them safe. While this letter addresses more than just commencement, we know that this is the primary event on everyone’s mind. To ensure a healthy and safe event for all involved, we need to follow the mandated social distancing guidelines. We have planned an alternative to the tradition of gathering everyone close together in one auditorium. WDSE is working with Denfeld and East to create professional productions to celebrate your graduation. Teams of staff and student leaders have been working tirelessly to formulate these plans and make sure all necessary details are taken care of.
Our hope is that this experience will accomplish everything else that makes graduation special. We will have speeches, music, and all traditional aspects of the ceremony included in the production. Most importantly, we will give every senior the honor of being on stage and recognized for all that they have achieved. Each student will be allowed to bring four family members to school to cheer you on. Creating this production with WDSE will result in a celebratory, professional experience you’ll be able to share with your friends and family no matter where they are. The class of 2020 will be making history engaging more people than in a traditional graduation!
There is a lot of information contained in this letter. Please read it carefully and save for future reference.
Senior Sign Delivery and Commencement Plans
Friday, May 8 Senior Cap and Gown, Yearbook and Yard Sign Delivery
We are using your primary address on Infinite Campus to deliver your Cap and Gown, Senior Yard Sign and Yearbook, 2020 Time capsule, and other items! We hope that you are home to receive these items from Denfeld staff on Friday! If not, we will leave the sign, and return the other items to the school and will arrange for pickup at a later date. WDSE will accompany some groups to film this delivery as part of our graduation feature.
Please invite your family to take photos and videos and submit for the virtual graduation presentation.
There is a Media Release Form included in your items. You will need this to walk the stage for graduation and to have your professional photo taken for the virtual graduation video.
You will receive Honor D’s and Honor Cords as well
You will receive a Media Release Form with your cap and gown. If this form is not filled out by a parent or guardian, or the student if they are over 18, you may not appear in the production or have their professional photo taken!
The Commencement production will be aired on 8.2 Explore Channel. WDSE is currently planning their production schedule for June and will give us the exact date and time ASAP. We will inform you as quickly as possible! This date and time should be finalized by May 14.
When the production is done, you’ll be able to purchase a copy on DVD, stream online, and share with family and friends no matter where they are.
There will be many components, photos, music, and videos that we wouldn’t normally be able to incorporate in a traditional on-stage ceremony, combined with all of our traditional elements that are a part of Denfeld commencement each year.
SENIOR SPEAKER AUDITIONS
Please email Marcia Nelson at Marcia.Nelson@isd709.org with your interest in being a graduation speaker during our virtual event. As in the past, we will have speech idea /writing sessions and practice to make it great! We will plan for a few recording options, which is ideal, so we can submit the perfect take! Please consider volunteering for this role in your graduation ceremony.
Graduation Walk and Cap and Gown Photos on Stage
Your graduation walk can happen Tuesday, May 12 - Friday, May 15 between 9:00 and 3:00 PM. Please sign up using the button below this section.
Please be sure to iron your graduation gown, and attach your tassel to the cap. We will not accept “bedazzling” or decorations attached to your cap or gown aside from those which have been provided, if they can be seen in photos or videos. We do not use the white collar that comes with your cap and gown. You can discard!
In order to give WDSE time to produce and edit this, we need to have components to them quickly, including a professional photograph file of you, on stage, in your cap and gown, with your diploma.
The stage will be set and decorated as it traditionally is at Denfeld’s graduation
Students can invite up to four family members to attend their graduation walk
Howie Hanson will be at Denfeld for all four days taking professional photos of the graduates
Students and their families will enter the auditorium lobby from the outside entrance where you will be greeted by a staff member. All visitors to school must wear a mask to protect themselves and others. Graduates will remove them to walk the stage and get their picture taken.
Students will enter the auditorium from the right aisle once their families have taken their place on the left front side of the auditorium and are ready for photos.
Students will walk to Pomp and Circumstance and cross the stage, receive a Denfeld diploma cover, and pose for a professional photograph. This file will be shared with each family via email so you can print and share with as many people as you would like.
We will share the photo file with you to an email address you provide so that you can reproduce the photo as many times and in as many sizes as you would like to keep and share
We have to limit time in the auditorium to 5 minutes per student.
Doors will be propped open to reduce contact. Please be prepared to follow all social distancing guidelines for the safety of all of our students, family, and staff members.
If you are uncomfortable coming to the school to have your photograph taken, or unable to come for some other reason, please contact us. We will discuss how to get your photo included in the production.
Upon completion of the walk and photo, students will exit the auditorium into the panel lobby and parents will exit through the same auditorium doors through which they entered. We ask families to wait for their student for about ten minutes, as they are escorted to the clock tower for the traditional senior signing. We will provide sanitized pens and the opportunity to take cell phone photos in the tower if they would like
Students will return through the panel lobby
The All Night Grad Party planning committee will hand out memorabilia to all students in the panel lobby, and give each graduate a ticket to enter to win one of their five prize drawings.
Students can exit the building through the front doors
If parents are essential workers and are absolutely unable to attend the student’s graduation walk between 9 am and 3 pm Tuesday - Friday, please email Marcia Nelson at Marcia.Nelson@isd709.org. Thank you!
Orders will be available within 2 business days after receipt of order and required photo submission for products printed with student photo. When your order is completed, we will email you with available pick up times at Advantage Emblem.
Additional Event Details
Friday, May 15, 7 pm: Prom!
Denfeld and Duluth East Prom committees are working together (and have now included Hermantown, Proctor, Cloquet, Marshall, Superior, and more) with Mix 108 to sponsor a Regional Prom this year. Each school will host their own social media events, but Mix 108 will broadcast music, have special events, and have great giveaways that night!
Our traditional Honors Night ceremonies have been canceled for Denfeld and East.
Denfeld will be creating a Google Slideshow to showcase the accomplishments of our top 10% on the Honors Court as well as other seniors who have earned scholarships and other special awards/recognition.
This presentation will be available on the Denfeld Homepage as well as shared on our Facebook and Twitter pages and will be available by request as a The presentation will be available as a color document as well.
In order to create the presentation, we need information from you about scholarships or awards you have already received and any other special recognition. Check your email starting May 7th or look for a document in your Week 5 Distance Learning Packet that you can complete and return digitally or as part of your paper packet by Friday, May 15.
Please vote for Honor Night Royalty here.
Traditional Baccalaureate Ceremonies have been canceled for Denfeld and East this year.
Our local religious organizations are making their own plans to honor and celebrate the seniors in their communities.
"Tribute to Minnesota's High School Class of 2020"
Attention 2020 high school graduates and their families! Please complete this form for the chance to be included in the Star Tribune's special graduation section on June 7, honoring Minnesota's 55,000+ high school seniors. With commencement ceremonies canceled across the state because of the pandemic, we will celebrate the Class of 2020 and give you the special recognition you deserve. A reporter or editor may contact you if we need more information. The deadline for submissions is May 12.
Marking The Last Day
We are working with district and city officials on a few special opportunities to mark the “last day” with you. Watch for more information to follow!
We know that you likely have many other ideas about what you would like us to do to mark these events. Trust that we have evaluated an incredible amount of options, and have chosen these formats with all guidelines and restrictions in mind.
While we know that none of this is ideal, and we would definitely all prefer to be together to celebrate traditionally, we ask that you respect the work done by our staff and student leadership teams. We thank them for their continued time and effort. Hosting these events in this way is very time and cost intensive. None of this would be possible without a lot of support and work and we are so appreciative of all who have been part of planning and who will be part of organizing and running them as we move forward.
Laurie Knapp, Marcia Nelson and Tom Tusken