Catholic high school seniors will be graduated at the end of July

Although graduation plans were infected by the pandemic, the mortarboards will fly for the graduates of the four Catholic high schools in the Diocese of Wichita. (Photo Sartria Perkasa/Unsplash)

Graduation dates set

Here are the graduation dates for the four Catholic high schools. Bishop Carl A. Kemme is scheduled to attend all of them.

  • July 19, 2 p.m.: Trinity Catholic Jr./Sr. High School in Hutchinson
  • July 21, 7 p.m.: St. Mary’s Colgan Catholic High School in Pittsburg
  • July 26, 1:30 p.m., Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School in Wichita, Hartman Arena
  • July 26, 3:30 p.m., Bishop Carroll Catholic High School in Wichita, Hartman Arena

All of the schools are making other plans to honor the graduates including award assemblies and farewell Masses.

Pomp postponed by the circumstances

The seniors of the four Catholic high schools in the Diocese of Wichita will be able to enjoy the pomp – despite the circumstances.

Superintendent of Catholic Schools Janet Eaton said Monday, May 4, that plans are beginning to come together for graduation ceremonies for the high schools in Wichita, Hutchinson, and Pittsburg.

After the pandemic emptied schools and capsized everyone’s plans, she said she and other school officials debated about how far into summer the graduation ceremony should be postponed.

Happy about July decision

“I’m so glad at this point that we made the determination to go to the end of July,” she said. “I’m hoping, with a lot of prayer, that it works out.”

Some high schools in the country are limiting ceremonies to families-only to reduce social interaction. Others changed plans. Twenty-three Fort Worth, Texas, area high schools will be using the massive Texas Speedway as a graduation venue, one that allows plenty of social distancing.

The pandemic may have affected graduation ceremonies here, but the school bells will be rung for summer school and the fall semester in the Diocese of Wichita.

Summer school planning underway

Eaton said she has teams working to define summer school programming and on fall “re-entry” plans.

“There are so many unknowns about that,” she said. “There are a number of different programs that could happen depending on the size and the location of the schools. A lot is in the air.”

Although teachers, students, and families have worked hard since the pandemic moved the end of the 2019-2020 school year to the web, Eaton said, “there’s a reason we have school buildings, classrooms, and teachers.”

Students will fill seats in the fall, but adaptations made by school officials, parents, and teachers will make their education better, she said.

The pandemic’s silver lining

“I have made this statement a number of times that we need to come out of this better than we went into it,” she said. “We need to seize the moment, seize the opportunity, and determine what we’ve learned. I’ve been talking a lot about that with principals.”

Eaton said she just read an article about a school leader who survived Hurricane Katrina and how he implored educators to take hold of the unprecedented opportunity. Returning to things just as they were, won’t happen, he said.

Diocesan educators have overcome challenges they never anticipated, Eaton said.
“That’s the exciting part,” she said. “What windows are going to open?”