Update for Napoleon High School Graduation

Class of 2020 Graduation Commencement

May 1, 2020


Dear Seniors, Parents, and Family Members,


The Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Health in a press release on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 urged “...school districts to be thoughtful and careful in choosing and planning the best way to celebrate graduation and other milestones. Several options are available and can be successfully implemented all while keeping safe practices in mind.” A virtual graduation ceremony is the first recommendation. The Ohio Department of Education in a joint statement with the Ohio Department of Health stated, “Virtual graduation ceremonies are the safest. We strongly recommend this approach to maximize the safety and health of everyone involved.” Official recommendations offered options; whereas, “celebrations should involve the local health departments, and law enforcement partners to ensure that health and safety protocols are followed appropriately”. 


On behalf of Napoleon Area City Schools, the entire Administration of the City of Napoleon, the Napoleon Fire Department, the Napoleon Police Department, the Henry County Chamber of Commerce, the Henry County General Health District, and the Henry County Prosecutor’s Office, we are pleased to announce an opportunity for loved ones to experience the individual senior graduation presentation of the diploma photography session. A specific process has been approved in order to ensure everyone is in compliance with the Ohio Department of Health’s order, the guidelines set forth by Governor DeWine, and the expectations identified by the Ohio Department of Education. Strict protocols have been identified to ensure every senior, guest, school district staff member, and local official stays safe and healthy.  Our efforts, by working together, is to ensure the care, protection, and well-being of our community.  Your cooperation and compliance will keep our entire community healthy.


During the week of May 18-22, 2020 all seniors may voluntarily sign up for a time when he or she can report to school for a graduation photo wearing his or her cap and gown. The voluntary sign up period will open on Saturday, May 2, 2020 at 12:00pm (noon).  The voluntary sign up period will close on Friday, May 8, 2020 at 11:59pm. An electronic invitation will be sent to all seniors, so they can sign up for a time and date. The sign up process is on a “first come, first serve” basis. Sign up is voluntary. After the closing of the voluntary period, all students will be assigned to a remaining available time slot. You will be sent notification of your assigned date and time. No walk-ins are allowed. Seniors should check their emails regularly, as well as social media. The sessions will run on a fifteen minute interval (i.e. 8:00am, 8:15am, 8:30am, & 9:00am).


During the individual photo session, the following protocols will be observed in order to participate:


  • A single senior and up to four immediate family members and/or guests will park in the west student parking lot. A senior may only have up to four other individuals as guests. No more than five people may have access to the building.  Formula = 1 senior + 4 guests.  (Please note: Clairmont Ave. will be closed effective May, 4, 2020 for construction between Briarheath Ave. and Westmoreland Ave. Give yourself extra time to get to the school.)

  • When directed by a school representative or a member of Napoleon Police Department, the senior and any potential party members (no more than four) will enter the junior high gym by using the west side exterior entrance door. The door will be identified with the appropriate signage. The Napoleon Police Department’s School Resource Officer vehicle will help identify the entrance and exit location. It will be parked next to the door.

  • Upon immediate arrival inside the building, the senior and potential guests will answer a series of health questions and have their temperatures evaluated by a single school representative (Anyone who has a temperature of 100.4 or higher or anyone who incorrectly answers the health symptom questionnaire will not be permitted to go any further in the building. Any person fitting this description will need to leave the building immediately).

  • The senior may deposit any Cat Cash into a drawing, the first of two, for an Apple iPad.  Bring you Cat Cash and enter to win.

  • The senior will turn left and proceed onto the theater stage and move to the designated starting point as identified by a school representative. 

  • The senior’s guests (maximum of four) will remain on the gym floor. They will be directed by a school representative to their designated location where they are permitted to take their own videos or photographs. No chairs, benches, or other resting areas will be available. The location is a specific standing location in the front of the theater stage. Guests may take photos and/or record video when the senior’s name is announced.

  • The senior will have his or her name announced by a school representative. The senior will walk over to the podium and pick up a diploma jacket cover (The diploma jacket cover will be resting on the podium). The student will step forward to face the photographer and guests (Please note: A school representative will be off to the side of the stage behind a protective barrier, as the person is responsible for sanitizing the diploma jacket covers. Clean diploma jacket covers will be rotated in order to follow safety guidelines).

  • A school representative will take photo(s) of the senior. The senior will then exit the stage in the same manner he or she entered the stage.

  • The senior and his or her guests will then exit the JH gym promptly.

  • All areas will be disinfected and cleaned by school representatives prior to the next senior and his or her guests enter the building.


As to the actual diploma jacket cover and diploma, all seniors should prepare for two scenarios. Why? We have received communication from our supplier that due to the COVID-19 pandemic the production and distribution of their product has been impacted. The traditional timeline has been altered. The supplier is doing everything possible to ensure schools receive the product; however, it currently is not a guarantee.

  • Scenario 1:  You will take your diploma jacket cover and diploma with you on the date during your assigned time period.  You will be provided the items upon your departure from the photo session while exiting the building.

  • Scenario 2: You will not receive your diploma jacket cover and diploma.  The items will be mailed to your home address. Please make sure the school has your most updated and accurate address.


If you are a senior who will receive a medal/medallion or graduation/honor cord, you will receive the item(s) on the date of your photo session.  


During this process, the staff, the individual senior, and his or her guests (maximum of four) will use appropriate self-distances practices. Everyone (all staff members, the graduate, and potential guests) are required to wear a mask, a handkerchief, or some other type of cotton/cloth material to cover one’s nose and mouth. The use of gloves would be wise. The items will not be provided. You should prepare in advance and bring your own. Masks are a requirement. 


The sessions are staggered for a reason. Only one senior and up to four guests will be allowed in the building at anyone time. A single designated door will be used to enter and exit. Anyone who arrives early, shall be required to stay an appropriate distance away from the exterior door. As a courtesy, we want everyone to have access to the building without being concerned over congested areas and individuals in close proximity to one another.


When the individual senior has his or her photo taken, he or she may remove the mask and/or gloves for the photo. In addition, each senior may have up to two photos taken by the school representative.  You may take one photo without your mask. You may decorate your mask and wear it in the second photo.  We encourage seniors to be creative. Any senior who wears a creative and decorative mask will automatically be entered into a second drawing for an additional Apple iPad.


If a senior's party of five wishes to take a group photo, we recommend utilizing areas around the property.  Some areas may include the official school sign located on Wildcat Drive in the front of the building, the class rock located in Buckenmeyer Stadium, or the vast amount of trees around the property.  The school’s photographer will not be taking a photo of the senior and guests.  If you are going to take photos on or about school grounds, everyone should utilize the appropriate self-distancing and mitigation practices as defined by the Ohio Department of Health.


The official graduation ceremony for The Class of 2020 will take place on Sunday, May 24, 2020 at 2pm in a Virtual Commencement.  Please refer to the earlier update from Monday, April 27, 2020 for details.  The winners of the two drawings for the Apple iPads will be announced during the virtual commencement.


Please continue to check your email on a regular basis, as well as social media sources from the school.


We are very happy to offer this opportunity to our students and families. I would like to thank all of our local partners for coming together and working together to celebrate the Class of 2020.  I would like to personally thank Erik Belcher, Joel Mazur, Clayton O’Brien, David Mack, Joel Miller, Mark Adams, and Gwen Howe-Gebers for supporting our graduates.


Wishing your family the very best. Stay healthy and stay safe.




Mr. Ryan J. Wilde, Principal


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