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SES Graduation Information

We are thrilled to finally have a plan on how to best honor our graduating class of 2020. We have been meeting for the last month to plan how we can safely give our seniors the celebration they deserve. The District 196 Graduation Planning Team has used the information provided by Governor Walz, along with the guidance of our local police departments, the Minnesota Department of Education and the Minnesota Department of Health to develop our plan.

We have come up with a three-part plan which we believe will provide: 

  • a way for our seniors, faculty and staff to celebrate together at SES.

  • a presentation of the traditional SES certificate, along with an opportunity for families to take a traditional photo in cap and gown.

  • a dignified and honorary ceremony for our seniors and families to experience.


NOTE: Each of our opportunities is optional. If a graduate lives with someone who is high risk and therefore cannot come to SES, we will be happy to make a special plan for that situation. Of course we will ask that anyone who is ill or quarantined does not come to the events. If a graduate needs transportation for any of the opportunities, we will help, see below. 


Cap and Gown Pick-Up

It is tradition for students at SES to wear the cap and gown from their home high school. It is a beautiful representation of how diverse we are. SES is a special place because each student chooses to come. We honor our pasts and brighten our futures, all while embracing our differences. Therefore, students will need to pick up their cap and gown from either AVHS, EHS, EVHS, or RHS.

Click here for Cap & Gown Pick Up information

Please know that with your cap and gown will be a slip that shows all the items we have on record as you owing or needing to return. We would like you to gather those items before you come to SES on June 1, 2, or 3rd.


Presentation of SES Certificate

Seniors and their families will choose a date and time from June 1, 2 and 3 (10 AM - 6 PM) to come into SES to drop off tech items and books, as well as pick up yearbooks.  There will be a “stage” set up for each senior to walk across in their cap and gown and be presented with their certificate. It is an SES tradition to walk barefoot across the stage, so students can choose to step out of their shoes at this point. There will be an opportunity for the graduate to pause and pose for a picture. You must sign up at least one day in advance. The system will not accept same day appointments. 

Please sign up for your ten minute allotted time here

Please understand you MUST sign up for a time and we can’t accommodate drop-ins. Public health parameters will be required including wearing masks (except during the photo time), social distancing, and staggered, safe arrival and departure will be expected.

Here are all of the details for the Drop off/Pick up of Materials & Presentation of SES Certificates. 


Drop off/Pick up of Materials:

When students arrive at their chosen time on June 1, 2, or 3, they will be escorted into the building to drop off any textbooks they have, as well as their iPads, chargers, and bricks. They will also be able to go quickly to their desk/pod area and bag up any possessions still at school. Yearbooks will also be available for pick up, if you purchased one in advance in FeePay. This process will happen quickly and families will meet their graduate outside at our “stage” area where students can walk across the stage, receive their certificate, get their photo taken, and leave so the next member of the class of 2020 can have their moment.

In order to get our entire graduating class through this process in three days, we are limiting time slots to only ten minutes to pick up/drop off materials and the presentation of certificates. We know this is quick, but it is essential we stick to a schedule so every family gets a chance to participate.


Here are all of the details for the Drop off/Pick up of Materials & Presentation of SES Certificates. 


Graduation Processional: Thursday, June 4, 5:30-6:30 PM

We want to bring the class of 2020 together, in a safe way, to say a final goodbye to the SES staff who have grown to care so much about them. This year we invite our graduates, together with their family, to participate in a “processional” parade of vehicles, wearing graduation gowns, caps, tassels and, hopefully, joyous smiles! This will begin at 5:30 PM on Thursday, June 4 and take the Class of 2020 through the SES parking lot where our proud faculty and staff will line the sidewalks to cheer for our seniors and families. You are encouraged to decorate the vehicle bringing your senior to this event. However, all graduates and family members must remain in their vehicle. We encourage seniors NOT to be the ones driving, so they can fully be present and safe for the send-off. This processional parade will be led and supported by the Apple Valley Police Department and Apple Valley Fire Department. Seniors, families, and SES faculty and staff will proceed home to view the virtual ceremony following the parade. Further communication and details will be shared as we near this event date.


To ensure we keep traffic moving and get everyone home to watch the virtual graduation ceremony, we are asking that families come (to the best of their ability) at the following times during the procession:

  • Last name A-F 5:30-5:45

  • Last name G-L 5:45-6:00

  • Last name M-R 6:00-6:15

  • Last name S-Z 6:15-6:30


Virtual Graduation Ceremony, Thursday, June 4 at 7 PM

Our Class of 2020 ceremony will be virtual and the celebration aired at our regularly scheduled graduation ceremony time, Thursday, June 4th at 7 PM. The entire community and your extended family members and friends will be able to view the ceremony following safe social distancing protocols at this time, or later as it will be available online throughout the coming weeks. The ceremony will include a faculty speaker, student speakers, student musicians, members of the School Board, as well as faculty representatives. Each senior will be featured with a photo slide and name in the ceremony. 

Diploma Distribution

Diplomas are picked up at students’ home high schools. Please see emails from your home school for specific information regarding getting your diploma after graduation.

Transportation and Special Needs

If any graduate needs transportation for any of the above opportunities, please contact our school counselor, Nathan Nelson. If a graduate lives with someone who is high risk and is not able to come to SES on the scheduled days, we will certainly make a special plan for that senior as well. Please let us know if this is the case for you or your family.