Gilroy High School Graduation is Thursday, June 4, 2020 at 6:00 PM
Gilroy High School will hold a virtual graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020 on Thursday, June 4, 2020, beginning at 6 pm. Planning is currently underway. More information will be available soon. Thank you for your patience. Here are some of the acknowledgements in process for the Class of 2020:
Virtual graduation ceremony. This video will be in place of a community event this year and will feature all the components of our planned graduation on video. The video will debut on the GHS Class of 2020 microsite on Thursday, June 4, at 6:00 pm.
Virtual Senior Awards Night celebrating the accomplishments of the Class of 2020, on May 27, at 6 pm. Watch here.
Senior lawn signs. GHS has purchased lawn signs for the entire seniors senior class and will distribute them safely once they are delivered.
Class of 2020 micro-website on the GHS website recognizing our seniors and their accomplishments.
Graduation cap and gowns delivered to the homes of all Seniors.
Graduation regalia, including honor cords and cords for community service hours, distributed once they are received
Diploma and yearbook distribution being planned for mid-June
- Revised Community Service Requirement
- Grading Policy for Spring 2020
- May 20, 2020 Letter to the Class of 2020
- May 15, 2020 Letter from Superintendent Flores
- May 4, 2020 Letter from Superintendent Flores
- April 29, 2020 Letter from Superintendent Flores
Due to the Covid-19 crisis, Gilroy students are unable to complete the Community Service requirements as stated in Board Policy 6146.1. At the April 23, 2020 GUSD board meeting, the Board of Education modified the existing policy to assist our students who are in the class of 2020 in fulfilling all requirements for graduation from the Gilroy Unified School District:
- Seniors with 160+ hours will be recognized with green cords upon graduation.
- The Senior from each school with the most hours will be recognized with their name on the perpetual plaque.
- Members of the class of 2020 will not be required to complete the 80 hour requirement in order to earn a diploma.
- Members of the class of 2021 will be required to complete 75 hours as part of the graduation requirements. (using the prorated 5 hours per quarter philosophy)
- Students in the class of 2022 and 2023 will be required to complete 80 hours as part of the graduation requirements.
GUSD has transitioned all secondary students to credit/no credit (CR/NC) grading for the second semester of 2019-20. The decision included input from principals, instructional leads, District-level administration, consultation with university admissions officials, and Santa Clara County superintendents.
Moving to CR/NC grading will benefit our staff and students without negative consequences for students with collegiate aspirations. Universities across the country have made it clear that students will not be penalized for missing traditional standardized tests or for posting credit/no credit transcripts for this semester. One of the most clear explanations of the assurances our students should expect comes from Harvard University. Their complete letter can be found here.
GUSD has created a one-semester change in practice to post accumulated credits without positively or negatively impacting grade-point averages (GPAs). Colleges lean heavily on an official document called the School Profile. School Profiles explain circumstances to colleges, including graduation requirements, GPA calculations, honors courses, average SAT/ACT scores and other elements that make schools unique. In this case, the shift to CR/NC grading in the face of a national pandemic will be described and accepted without penalty.
Good Afternoon Senior Families,
It has been more than sixty days that we have been faced with a shelter in place and this time has shown the resilience of everyone in our school. Your children as missed dearly by our staff and faculty and we wanted to give you a quick update on what we have been planning as a temporary solution.
Families we want to provide as much as we possibly can to you and your student. In this effort we have commissioned the first ever VIRTUAL GRADUATION VIDEO. This virtual ceremony was created with the help of your students who submitted photos and messages. Not only that, but all the speeches that we normally enjoy, choir performances, reading of the names and more fun nods to the usual event that is GRADUATION will be included. If we can see one silver lining there is no need for tickets for this event. Everyone and anyone can attend, even grandma in Mexico, uncle in London or Cousin Jeff right here Gilroy. The video will debut at 6PM on THURSDAY, JUNE 4TH. The video will be housed on YouTube Premium and viewable via our Class of 2020 microsite at https://gilroyhs.
You received an email earlier this week informing you that a lawn sign was purchased for your family and that pick up will be available on Friday (5/22) from 10AM – 2PM in the back parking lot. Please be sure to stop by and say hello to your ACs and ADs.
A student’s senior yearbook contains the memories of their last year of high school and we want to get those into your children’s hands. There are currently 30 yearbooks left in stock. All sales are done online and the cost is $100. While I have sent several emails to all of you I want to give all of you one last chance to order before I send out the last reminder to the entire school. To order a yearbook please visit www.yearbookordercenter.com, while supplies last. Ms. England has also created a digital signing page (https://bit.ly/2XcycMs) simply make a copy and you can send to friends.
KRTY DREW BALDRIDGE WEBINAR
Calling all country music lovers! Thanks to our very own Alexis Young for reaching out to KRTY to participate in their Class of 2020 Senior Year Song Remix. Due to her reaching out they have invited all of our students to a Drew Baldridge Virtual Concert. If you would like to participate please go ahead and follow the link to https://us02web.zoom.us/
CLASS OF 2020 MICROSITE
We want to honor our graduates this year with a microsite that shows all of graduates and their achievements. Please pay a visit to https://gilroyhs.
SENIOR AWARDS NIGHT
Our Academic Coordinators have been working hard on creating an event to celebrate the scholarship award recipients. The event will go live on the Class of 2020 microsite (https://gilroyhs.
DIPLOMA DISPERAL AND SENIOR CHECKOUT
While Dr. Flores sent out an e-mail regarding this, more detail will follow from the school site as information becomes available.
Dear Class of 2020 and families,
I am writing to provide a new update about graduations and pick up of diplomas/yearbooks. The good news is that on May 8, 2020, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department and the Santa Clara County Office of Education gave school districts permission to plan graduate recognitions and diploma pickups at high schools. Districts must follow strict guidelines for these events that have been outlined in writing. Some of these are listed below. In light of this new development, here is what is being planned for our seniors:
The virtual graduations will be held as planned on the dates listed below. Most of our seniors are participating in these graduations. The graduations will debut on each school website’s Class of 2020 microsite page the day of their regularly scheduled ceremony. Please note: only GECA’s microsite is currently live. Content for the other three microsites is still being collected and these pages will be published soon.
- Dr. TJ Owens Gilroy Early College Academy (GECA), Friday, May 21, at 5pm
- Mt. Madonna High School, Tuesday, June 2, at 6 pm
- Gilroy High School, Thursday, June 4, at 6 pm
- Christopher High School, Friday, June 5, at 6 pm
Graduate Recognition/Diploma and Yearbook Pickup
The production of diplomas and yearbooks was halted due to COVID19 for some weeks. Companies are now producing both and they should arrive about the middle of June. Once we have firm dates on their arrival, we will schedule diploma and yearbook pickups for seniors at the four high schools. In order to comply with the Public Health guidelines we will be scheduling an appointment for each graduate. The high school leadership will contact you to let you know the date and time that you should arrive. Per the guidelines from the County, only seniors and their immediate family may attend this event. All participants must wear masks while at the school site. Seniors will proceed to a stage area and will be given their diploma and yearbook. They may wear their gowns if they wish and family members are welcome to take pictures. Social distancing guidelines must be followed at all times. District and high school officials will attend these events and share their congratulations with the seniors. More details will be forthcoming once the date for this event is confirmed.
Scheduling a Future Graduation Event
Many of you have asked if graduation events or celebrations for the Class of 2020 could be planned/scheduled for a future date when the Public Health Department removes restrictions for large groups of people to congregate even if that is next spring or summer (2021). The district and the high school administration support this concept and look forward to a time when these events can be scheduled safely.
We look forward to seeing you in mid-June at the graduate recognition/diploma pick up at your high school! Congratulations Class of 2020!
Dr. Deborah A. Flores, Ph.D.
Superintendent, Gilroy Unified School District
Dear Families of the Class of 2020 and Candidates for Graduation,
Last week, I sent you a letter regarding the decision to hold virtual graduations due to the COVID19 pandemic. This letter is an acknowledgment of the requests we have received from some families to consider alternative graduation ceremonies such as drive-through graduations and/or drive-throughs where there would be an exchange of textbooks for diplomas.
Since March 2020, Santa Clara County has been the epicenter of the COVID19 health crisis in the Bay Area. As of today, 2,231 people have tested positive with the virus and 115 people have died. 140 people are hospitalized with COVID19 in the County and 42 people in Gilroy have tested positive for the virus. For this reason, our County has taken some of the strongest measures in California to prevent further spread of the virus and deaths.
For almost two months, the 31 superintendents in our county have met bi-weekly as a group with the Superintendent of the Santa Clara County Office of Education, representatives of the Public Health Department and representatives of the Santa Clara County Emergency Operations Center which includes the County’s legal counsel. As a collective group, we have discussed this year’s graduation ceremonies including requests to hold drive-through graduations. These requests were denied by County counsel as a clear violation of the shelter-in-place order, and as a result the superintendents in Santa Clara County have all agreed that holding virtual graduations is the only option. I also sought the opinion of our own legal counsel regarding drive-through graduations or any other type of graduation that would involve organizing large groups of people. Our attorney’s opinion is that GUSD must follow the directives of the Santa Clara County Health Officer with respect to graduation activities.
The health and safety of our students, families and staff members remains our top priority. It would be irresponsible to ignore the orders of the Public Health Department to hold in-person graduation ceremonies, despite our deep desire to celebrate the achievements of the Class of 2020 with the Gilroy community. As I shared with you in my letter to you last week, the Gilroy Unified School District will follow the protocol established by the Public Health Department, and agreed upon by all superintendents in Santa Clara County in partnership with the Santa Clara County Office of Education, by holding virtual graduations for our four high schools. I understand how difficult this decision is for you and your families, and I wish we could celebrate the accomplishments of this group of seniors who have worked so hard to reach this milestone.
I want to acknowledge the members of our community who have stepped forward to create special memories for the Class of 2020. I have seen signs in front yards throughout our community celebrating seniors, and t-shirts created for the Class of 2020 at all four of our high schools. There is an “Adopt-a-Senior” program on social media connecting our candidates for graduation with members of the community who want to acknowledge their achievements and accomplishments. Our local newspapers are planning to highlight our graduating seniors in the weeks to come, and Bay Area news stations are highlighting the accomplishments of graduating seniors throughout Northern California. I am inspired by the creativity and care shown by Gilroy, but I’m not surprised. If this year has shown me anything, it is that this community will band together to show support and love in times when we need it most. I know that more creativity will come forward in the weeks to come, and I am grateful for that as well.
At this point, I want to encourage you all to keep looking forward. While the end of this year is anything but typical, we are still trying hard to make the memories of graduation positive for our students, families and staff members. I am asking for your help in doing so.
I am grateful for your patience and understanding as we work to create an entirely new graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020. While this is not the way we anticipated celebrating graduation for our seniors, it is our reality at this point in time. I wish that we could be together at each of our four high schools on the day of graduation, to shake the hands of all of our candidates and share with them my best wishes for their future endeavors. These four days are some of my favorites every year. I am thinking of each of you and hoping for peace for you as you come to terms with our district’s plans for graduation. We will do our very best to provide a celebration worthy of the Class of 2020.
Dr. Deborah A. Flores, Ph.D.
Superintendent, Gilroy Unified School District
Dear Seniors and families of the Class of 2020,
This school year has been one of the most challenging in Gilroy’s history. We began the year struggling to recover from the Garlic Festival shootings and since February, we have been challenged with the impacts of the COVID19 pandemic. We know that the class of 2020, our seniors, have felt the impact of this pandemic most acutely. In order to protect the members of our community by following the shelter-in-place order, all of the events for seniors had to be canceled. We are so sorry that this call to action has happened during your senior year and truly wish that your senior activities and graduations could continue in the usual format, but unfortunately, that is not the case. The shelter-in-place executive order has been extended through the end of May and will likely be extended into June. Public schools remain closed through the end of this school year and summer, and possibly into the fall.
In collaboration with the Santa Clara Public Health Department, the Santa Clara County Office of Education and the other districts that have high schools in the county, the decision has been made that those districts holding graduations at the end of the school year must provide them virtually and not in the traditional large-group, in-person settings. Therefore, we have planned virtual graduations for our four high schools on the following dates:
- GECA – May 21, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.
- Mt. Madonna – June 2 at 6:00 p.m.
- GHS – June 4, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.
- CHS – June 5 at 6:00 p.m.
Your high school principal will communicate with you directly to provide the details of the graduations in the coming days. To help with the planning process, please complete this short form to opt-in to the virtual graduation ceremonies: https://forms.gle/SkM38q9LaJHtwbTc6. The form should be completed by seniors who are 18 and over and by the parent/ guardian of seniors who are under 18 by May 1, 2020.
Some of you have asked if the graduations could be postponed to the fall (2020) and/or could celebrations for the Class of 2020 be scheduled at a later date. Unfortunately, it is highly unlikely that the Public Health Department will allow large gatherings of people before the end of this calendar year. However, if that restriction were removed, we are open to planning an additional celebration of some type.
This year has demonstrated to everyone that the Class of 2020 is resilient beyond belief. You have faced challenges that people around you can’t imagine and you have triumphed again and again. Your parents and families are proud of you. Your community is proud of you. I am proud of you. We thank you for showing your compassion, strength and tremendous grit as you model how to face the challenges of this ever-changing world with grace and courage. We wish you only the best as you move on to college, the military, work or take some time off to decide what you want to do next in life. You have shown that you can do anything and I look forward to celebrating your future successes with you.
Dr. Deborah A. Flores, Ph.D.
Superintendent, Gilroy Unified School District
- Salutatorian/ Valedictorian Information
- Saturday School Policy
- Important Websites (QR Codes)
- Senior Letter from Superintendent (English)
- Senior Letter from Superintendent (Spanish)
- Senior Letter from GHS Administration
The top five highest GPA’s of the senior class (as of the 4th quarter progress report) who has completed a minimum of 5 semesters at Gilroy High School, will be eligible for Valedictorian and Salutatorian candidacies. A selection panel will decide Valedictorian and Salutatorian based on academic accomplishments and the following other factors:
- Academic program strength (Honors, AP, College level courses, etc.)
- Students must be exemplary role models, so each candidate’s discipline history will be considered.
- Community Service and School activity involvement will also be taken into consideration.. The quantity and quality of the community service hours will be reviewed. The student’s involvement in extracurricular activities such as performing arts, athletics, clubs, etc. will be considered.
- Each student will write their own speech (3 to 4 minutes) and be asked to read it to the panel as part of the selection process. The speech will be scored on content and delivery. You will read your speech to the selection panel.
- Please bring an updated resume for the panel to review. You will want to list scholarships and grants and other honors from the Senior Awards Night.
- The selection panel, which consists of administrators, teachers and student services staff will make the final decision after speeches are heard and all other factors taken into consideration. The candidate with the highest score will be the Valedictorian and the second highest will be the Salutatorian for the senior class.
This school year if senior students are assigned Saturday school at any time for any reason, they must attend on the assigned day. If the student does not comply, they will be in danger of losing senior privileges, up to and possibly including graduation ceremonies. Also, seniors will no longer be allowed to make-up days for assigned Saturday schools. Please contact the school should you have any questions regarding this policy.