Peoria Unified School District cancels graduations due to coronavirus surge
PHOENIX — Due to a statewide surge in confirmed coronavirus cases, the Peoria Unified High School District announced on Monday it had canceled its graduation ceremonies that were scheduled to occur later this month.
In a statement posted to its website, school district leaders said continuing with the ceremonies would not be in the best interest of the community.
“It is with heavy hearts that we announce the cancellation of our graduation ceremonies that were rescheduled to take place June 25, 26 and 27,” district leaders said.
“Given the increase in COVID-19 cases, we have determined it is not in the best interest of our students, staff, parents and community to proceed with these events.”
Graduations were originally set to take place at State Farm Stadium. Centennial, Sunrise Mountain, Raymond S. Kellis and Ironwood would have had their graduations on June 26. Peoria, Liberty and Cactus graduations had been scheduled for June 27.
Alternative graduation plans were not immediately available.
District leaders added that they had reached out to county health officials as recently as Monday morning to inquire if Arizona Department of Health Services guidelines had changed its guidelines regarding mass gatherings — no changes in guidelines had been reported.
Peoria was among the first school districts to announce plans for in-person graduation ceremonies.
AZDHS reported Monday morning that the state’s documented totals increased to 36,705 coronavirus cases and 1,194 deaths.