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Boquet: A different type of graduation season

We made it! While I am writing this, we are three and a half days from the official last day of school, but we’re not done yet.

On Friday, we hope the members of the Class of 2020 will join us for the St. John the Baptist Parish Senior Graduation Celebration. This is a community event for all parish high schools. Graduates should decorate their cars and gather at the staging point at Joe Keller Memorial Stadium before parading to New Wine Christian Fellowship, where they will receive gift bags, food and be entered to win prizes such as gift baskets and iPads. One lucky grad will even win a brand new vehicle! The procession for St. Charles Catholic will take place from 10 to 11 a.m. Riverside Academy will be from 11 to noon. West St. John High is from noon to 1 p.m. and East St. John High from 1 to 4 p.m.

This is not an official graduation but a community event to celebrate our graduates. Class of 2020 parents from both East St. John High and West St. John High responded overwhelmingly to our survey in favor of waiting until the “all clear” is given to hold traditional graduation ceremonies. We are hoping these can take place by mid-July. However, if we are not allowed to hold these gatherings by the start of the fall semester then they will take place during the Christmas break.

Eighth-graders at several schools are also getting a send-off this week. A few of those are drive-thru eighth grade graduations at Lake Pontchartrain Elementary School tonight, Emily C. Watkins Elementary Thursday night and East St. John Preparatory Academy on Saturday. Bobcat eighth graders even get to “Drive By and Pie” their principal and teachers on Thursday. Schools are hosting Zoom graduations, awards ceremonies and various creative ways to recognize students as we round out the school year.

Parents can expect report cards to be mailed next week.

Our administrators have been planning for the 2020-21 school year and will communicate any necessary changes and updates as we always do via our text messaging system, website and social media.

In preparation for the next school year, the district will be hosting a virtual job fair from 9 a.m. to noon Friday, May 29. Visit the Human Resources Department page at www.stjohn.k12.la.us for more information or schedule an interview.

Lastly, on behalf of Interim Superintendent Cory Butler, Interim Assistant Superintendent Juanita Hill and the entire district leadership team I’d like to say, “Thank you.”

Thank you to the Child Nutrition workers who served to-go meals; to the teachers who became virtual instructors; to the staff members who were asked to do their jobs in very different ways; to the moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas, sisters, brothers and friends who became teachers and tutors and thank you to the students who logged in to online classes, completed at-home assignments and continued to make learning a priority during this time. You are truly what it means to be #stjohnstrong.

Jennifer Boquet is communications specialist for St. John the Baptist Parish Public Schools. She can be reached at jboquet@stjohn.k12.la.us.