Former Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl-winning safety Malcolm Jenkins will be the keynote speaker at the School District of Philadelphia’s virtual graduation ceremony.
Jenkins was chosen not for his undoubted ability on the gridiron but for his “compassion and advocacy around social justice,” said Donna Frisby-Greenwood, the co-chair of the district’s graduation committee and president and CEO of the nonprofit Fund for the School District of Philadelphia.
“He’s a class-act with a great deal of love for our youth and our city,” Frisby-Greenwood said, adding that Jenkins has a few “surprises” in store for students during the ceremony.
The district will also be distributing caps and gowns, Superintendent William Hite said. Individual schools will reach out to families about where and when they can pick up the items.
The School District of Philadelphia’s virtual graduation will take place June 9 at 11 a.m. and will include three student speakers and three students performers. The ceremony will be followed by a virtual afterparty at 7 p.m.
Students will receive a virtual invitation with a link to the events, which they can forward to loved ones. The graduation ceremony will be streamed on both the district’s television and YouTube channels. More information can be found on the graduation section of the district’s website.
In addition to laying out plans for graduation, Hite revealed Thursday that the district is still working on what the fall term might look like.
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Several working groups are planning for the possibility of going fully virtual, providing hybrid instruction or having in-person classes, Hite said. A decision on the issue will be made toward the end of June or the middle of July, he said, adding that due to the “varying needs, varying populations, varying grade levels” of each school, it’s unlikely there will be a “one size fits all” solution.
In the interim, Hite said summer school classes will be fully online. The district will use the summer break to clean all buildings in compliance with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.