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Districts in Colorado Springs revisit graduation plans amid Gov. Polis’ new safer-at-home order

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Gov. Jared Polis announced that schools in Colorado would not be able to hold traditional graduation ceremonies until Fall 2020 at the earliest.

For any senior, it's a hard pill to swallow.

"This is a right of passage of a senior," says Samantha Briggs, public information officer for Widefield School District 3.

Briggs says District 3 is now focused on creating a virtual ceremony that's both meaningful and equitable.

"We're absolutely taking into consideration students who don't have access to internet or devices," says Briggs. "We're making sure those students will be able to participate in the virtual graduation , and that their parents are able to see that."

But officials at Academy District 20 says they're taking a different approach to graduation based on student feedback.

"Overwhelmingly, people were not loving the idea of a virtual graduation," says Allison Cortez, public information officer for Academy District 20. "We heard a lot of things like, 'please keep it as close to normal as possible.'"

Cortez says their idea for graduation was inspired by the recent Air Force Academy graduation.

"What is an option possibly, is doing an Air Force Academy style graduation, so its still in person, but there are no guests," says Cortez.

Only time will tell exactly what is possible for those ceremonies.

Officials at Harrison District 2 say they're basing their decision on how smooth the transition is to the governor's newest order. 

"As the stay-at-home order lifts and we move to 'safer-at-home', do those numbers continue to decline and does that give us more freedom by mid to end of May so we can do some things with social distancing," says Christine O'Brien, public information officer for District 2.

Governor Polis also announced that schools would not be returning to in-person instruction for the remainder of the academic year.

District officials in Colorado Springs say they are preparing for the possibility that campuses stay closed in to next fall, as well.

Colorado Springs / Education / Graduation Gallery / Local News

Mia Villanueva

Mia is a weekday reporter for Good Morning Colorado. Learn more about Mia here.