The inability to celebrate in-person does not have to stand in the way of Greater Minnesota schools hosting awards ceremonies and other key school events that typically happen at the end of the year. From graduation to award ceremonies, schools can create virtual events to honor students and staff, including those retiring, and engaging their communities.

MREA encourages schools to not missing this opportunity to recognize milestones and elevate the great work of students and staff. MREA offers a few steps to take when planning virtual events and ceremonies, with the help of the video and production experts at Captivate Media.

1. Develop a planning team.

Form a committee, including students, and meet virtually to discuss ideas to make the event special. Keep in mind that the goal is to not replicate what you normally do. You have freedom to try something new and create a different experience that is meaningful this year.

2. The entire event does not need to be “live.”

In fact, our recommendation is to record most, if not all, of the event. Work to have multiple people record their own videos, then edit everything together. You have the opportunity to control content and quality. This also allows closed captioning to be added so the event is more accessible for everyone viewing. There is software that will allow you to playback the edited video in a live environment (such as Facebook or YouTube) where people can still experience the event together while commenting in real time.

3. Think of ways to make the event interactive.

While there are likely certain traditions you’ll want to honor, especially related to graduation, consider new ways to engage with your audience in a virtual environment.

4. Make this a community celebration.

Members of your community may want to watch the ceremony or find other ways to show their support.

5. Engage help.

Seek the expertise and support of video and production professionals, from inside and outside of your school district.

A Virtual Graduation

Captivate Media created a planning guide for virtual graduation ceremonies.

Key parts include:

  1. Processional
  2. Master of Ceremonies
  3. Principal/Superintendent Message
  4. Student & Staff Speakers
  5. Music
  6. Reading of Names
  7. Tossing of Caps

See tips for each of these parts and the full guide for hosting virtual graduation ceremonies.


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