By Ryan Hill

AUBURN (CBS13) – It’s what the pandemic is robbing high school seniors of just about everywhere — their senior year and graduation.

“I get why we can’t have one like the normal graduation, the normal time because we need to be careful,” Talia Heath, a graduating senior at Placer High School, said.

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But that could soon change for seniors in the Placer Union High School District. That’s because the district is working on a plan to have the Class of 2020 walk and receive their diplomas in person. 

“I think that we can make changes, alter the graduation to a point where we can all be safe. But then still get that closure that we want,” Heath said. 

In a letter sent to parents and students, the district says it’s taking steps to have a traditional graduation ceremony with modifications.

“On Tuesday, May 5, 2020, the Board directed administration and legal counsel to notify state officials of our intent to conduct an in-person graduation ceremony for the class of 2020,” Dr. George S. Sziraki, Superintendent of PUHSD, said in the letter.  “The graduation will be conducted with appropriate precautions, including social distancing measures and groups of no more than 50 student graduates present at one time.”

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Sziraki also stated that the student population was in favor of the possibility of having an in-person ceremony.

“Our seniors overwhelmingly voted (87%) for an in-person summer graduation ceremony. We believe we can provide a local plan where our students receive their diplomas at an in-person graduation ceremony while meeting safety precautions, including social distancing guidelines,” Sziraki said in the letter.

The ceremony would be held in July.

The district couldn’t comment on how social distancing would be implemented and how this could become the “new normal,” for graduations during the coronavirus pandemic. But a district spokesperson told CBS13 hopes to be able to share more of the plan within the next week or so.

It’s something parents hope their kids get to experience the normal ending to high school in this unreal time.

“It would be very important just because I have four children and, for Talia, she’s watched them graduate. And I think for her it could just be closure. She can move on to the next chapter,” Cherie Heath, Talia’s mother, said.

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“I don’t feel like I’m done now,” Talia Heath said. “So, I feel like I need the graduation to move from high school.”