Info for Class of 2020

May 20, 2020

To the Class of 2020 –

As we near the conclusion of the school year and your graduation ceremony, we have so much to celebrate. Four years of growth, discovery, and transformation that will forever shape the journey on which you are about to embark.

With the unexpected and abrupt end of your senior year, I want to be sure to recognize the sadness you are experiencing as a graduating senior class. I know that many were disappointed by our decision to hold a virtual graduation ceremony with no in-person element. As you know, guidance is changing daily on how to safely operate during this global health crisis. At this time, we have decided to hold an in-person curbside diploma pick up and photo opportunity under the arch in our North Parking Lot following the virtual graduation ceremony on Tuesday, May 26. We are Patriots, and we don’t go small when it comes to celebrating our own. But we need your support and cooperation to make this a safe and responsible event.

Before we dive into the details, I want to provide context for our initial decision to hold only a virtual graduation. When we were first notified that schools would be closed for the remainder of the year, our graduation coordinator immediately began to compile plans for alternative graduations that would account for a variety of public health scenarios. Shortly after, DPS informed us that we should put a hold on any plans for graduation celebrations until they could provide guidance that all schools would follow. On April 28, they informed us that no in-person celebrations or diploma distributions would be permitted and asked us to prepare virtual graduation celebrations.

We respect the safety requirements put in place by DPS leadership and followed these rules – which we know disappointed a great number of our seniors and their families. Since then however, other schools have begun to plan for and host their own socially distanced graduation events. With the support of the DPS Board of Education, GW will be joining those schools to hold our own in-person, socially distant event for curbside diploma pick-up and photos. To be clear, this will not be the grand send-off you so greatly deserve. But in the time of a global health crisis, it is how we can both ensure the safety of our community and also honor your accomplishments as you transition into this next phase of life.

We are following the same system that we used for senior checkout which followed guidelines set forth by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and Denver Public Schools. Read through these instructions carefully and please, for the safety of yourself, your families, and our staff, adhere to the guidelines we’ve outlined.

I cannot wait to congratulate you on Tuesday!

Kristin Waters, Ph.D.
Principal | George Washington High School

May 7, 2020

Dear GW Seniors –

Thank you so much for your continued patience as we waited for district guidance regarding senior checkout and graduation. We have finalized our plans and shared them below. 

Before we dive into the logistics, though, I want to express my shared sadness for the unexpected and abrupt end to your senior year. I know that each of you is experiencing grief for the loss of the  spring events marking the occasion of closing this significant chapter in your life. We – your teachers, your parents, your mentors –  share in this loss with you. We’ve ridden the waves of your highs and lows, we’ve discovered passions, we’ve overcome obstacles, we’ve grown, and we’ve found success – together. 

Together, we can rise back up. Your Patriot community is standing strong behind you, celebrating your success. Class of 2020, we believe in YOU.


Kristin Waters, Ph.D.
Principal | George Washington High School

April 14, 2020

To the GW Class of 2020 –

We know that for our seniors this is an especially sad moment at a monumental time in your lives. From the time you stepped into GW for your first day of freshman year, each of you has been shaping the mark you are leaving on our community. GW has changed you, and we, the Patriot community, are better for having you as a part of our family. To depart under such sudden and sad circumstances does not honor the incredible relationships you have formed, the challenges you have overcome, and the incredible paths you will forge in your days ahead as a GW graduate.

What follows in this letter is unfortunately not the definitive answers we are all wanting right now. While Governor Polis has announced a goal of lifting Colorado’s stay-at-home orders on April 26, we don’t know yet if we will actually meet that goal, and what other restrictions may remain in place if we do. As every day brings a new set of developments and updates, we have chosen to put a hold on planning future events until we have very clear guidance from Denver Public Schools, the City of Denver, and the State of Colorado regarding next steps for stay-at-home orders, social distancing, and resumption of normal activities.

While we wait for updated information about the next steps for Denver and Colorado, Alyssa Richason, GW’s Activities Director, is working with the Student Council to survey our seniors about different options for alternative senior events, and how to authentically celebrate this hard earned moment for the Class of 2020.

Please read the information below for as many answers as we are able to provide at this time. We will continue to update students through the Weekly Roundup.

I hope you know that our entire community is grieving with you right now. Your peers, teachers, parents, and mentors have been in lockstep with you at every moment in your journey. We know the time, emotion, spirit, and sweat you have put into your time as a GW Patriot. We honor your hard work, we love your spirit, and we are so proud to call ourselves your fellow Patriots.

Kristin Waters, Ph.D.
Principal | George Washington High School

Our teachers have put together some memories and words of wisdom. We are in the process of putting these Senior Spotlights on our website. Make sure you’ve completed your Future Center Checkout Form so that we can celebrate your next steps!. Please click HERE to check out the Senior Spotlights – more students will be added daily!

We will stream a pre-recorded ceremony on our website at 11:00am on Tuesday, May 26. Be sure to follow along with our GW Instagram stories during the graduation and tag @gwhsdenver in your photos of your family celebrations. Following the initial stream, the video will be uploaded and available for download until June 30. 

Put on your gap and gown, grab your diploma cover, and head over to GW to pick up your diploma and take a photo under the arch in the North Parking Lot. Click HERE for detailed instructions. 

Yearbook printing and delivery has been delayed. We anticipate having yearbooks available by early August. Depending on the circumstances in August, we will either host a pick-up event and/or deliver books to families as soon as we are able. 

Because of the delay, we were able to reopen yearbook sales until May 22. Please click HERE if you would like to purchase one.