PAYETTE - Seeing as novel coronavirus COVID-19 has ground traditional schooling and graduation ceremonies to a halt this school year, the Payette School District has responded to the need to honor their 81 graduates with alternative means.

According to Superintendent Robin Gilbert, the district is offering their graduating seniors options as to how to receive their diploma whether it be on stage or at home. The district spent Monday and Tuesday calling families to get their selections.

“Currently we have five that we will deliver on Saturday at their residence,” said Gilbert via email on May 11. “They should be in cap and gown in family. Board Trustee[s] and administrators will arrive and hand deliver the diploma and awards. Families can take picture or video.”

However, most families would like to get more of a traditional graduation walk across the stage, opting to come to the school to get their diploma.

“We are scheduling family groups and social distancing. Students can walk across the stage, receive their diploma from administrator and trustees, while family takes pictures below. Then they will be expected to leave so the next family can watch their child walk,” according to Gilbert.

She said the district is spending five nights honoring graduates, with one day set aside to film graduation speeches to be given directly to students.

“We know it is not traditional, or what anyone wanted, but we are giving it our everything to acknowledge the accomplishment that it is. The High School Administrators have done an amazing job of planning and communicating with students and parents to achieve these events,” added Gilbert.

There will also be a community celebration on May 21 in Downtown Payette, where students will line Main Street as parents, friends and neighbors drive by to celebrate them.

Corey Evan is a reporter at the Independent-Enterprise and Argus Observer. He can be reached at (208) 642-5258 or by emailing To comment on this story, go to

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