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SES Car Processional & Virtual Ceremony Information

Details for SES Graduation on Thursday, June 4

Graduation Car Processional 

5:30 - 6:30 PM in the SES Parking Lot

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 families, to participate in a “processional” parade of vehicles, wearing graduation gowns, caps, tassels and, hopefully, joyous smiles! You are encouraged to decorate your vehicle, but we ask you to keep in mind the environmental impact of the decorations you choose. Additionally, there is no designated area to decorate your car near the school, so you will want to use items that can be held up or easily added without exiting your vehicle, for safety reasons, as you join the other cars on Johnny Cake Ridge Road. 

Additionally, we ask you to coordinate so that the graduate is not the driver and can fully participate without distraction. Please note that the flow of traffic will move slowly and steadily through the parking lot, but there will be no stopping and the graduate and their family members must remain in their vehicle at all times. To ensure we keep traffic moving and get everyone home on time 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 PM

  • Last name G-L 5:45-6:00 PM

  • Last name M-R 6:00-6:15 PM

  • Last name S-Z 6:15-6:30 PM


Apple Valley Police will be present to assist with the flow of traffic and have requested that all attending follow the route outlined below:


  1. Cars must approach the lot heading SOUTH on Johnny Cake Ridge Road so they can enter on a RIGHT turn. (NO LEFT turns into the lot will be allowed.)


  1. The flow of cars through the lot will be counter-clockwise with SES Staff members located on the outside edge of the lot. 


  1. Cars will exit the parking lot through a RIGHT turn onto Johnny Cake Ridge Road. (NO LEFT turns out of the lot will be allowed.)


There will also be a film crew from ETV at the event recording and broadcasting the processional.  We do not yet know where this footage will be broadcast, but we will communicate it, once we receive confirmation.


If any graduate needs transportation to participate in this event, please contact our school counselor, Nathan Nelson by 3 PM on Wednesday, June 3. He will help to create a plan that ensures all students can participate. 


Thank you to the Apple Valley Police Department, Apple Valley Fire Department, Minnesota Zoo and ETV for supporting this event. 


Virtual Commencement Ceremony

Airing 7:00 PM

Our 2020 ceremony will be virtual and the celebration aired at our regularly scheduled graduation time. The entire community and your extended family members and friends will be able to view the ceremony at this time, or even at a later date, 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 their photo and name during the ceremony. 

The SES Virtual Commencement Ceremony will be broadcast for the first time at 7:00 PM on District 196 TV (this is the ISD 196 YouTube channel). In addition, it may also be broadcast on the various cable channels located around the school district boundaries. Check your local listings for details:  

  • Spectrum Cable, Channel 189 in Apple Valley, Rosemount & Lakeville

  • Comcast Cable Channel 19 in Burnsville & Eagan

  • Comcast Cable Channel 20 Inver Grove Heights

  • CenturyLink Channel 8337 Twin Cities 


The complete broadcast schedule for District 196 TV can be found on the District 196 website.


We would like to extend a special thank you to our valued staff member, Jake Rylander, for producing our SES Virtual Ceremony. We are grateful for his time, resources, and talent in commemorating our 2020 graduates.  


Diploma Distribution

Diplomas are issued and distributed by the students’ home high schools. Please see emails from your student’s home high school for specific information regarding how diplomas are being distributed, as there is some variation between the schools.  

Additionally, diplomas are held if students owe fines or fees.  If your student still has outstanding fines or fees, two emails will be sent out on Thursday morning:

  1. A message from District196 Media will be sent to the STUDENT ONLY, the system does NOT send to parents, for any missing library items--things that are checked out from the school with a barcode.

  2. A message from Caroline Picone will be sent to BOTH students and parents, for other missing fines or fees, which may include field trip fees, building badges for students that travel to home high schools, parking tickets, etc…. 

These fines or fees must be paid by check, made payable to SES, and sent by mail to the school with a note indicating the student's name, student ID number, and the fees or fines being paid:

School of Environmental Studies

Attention: Caroline

12155 Johnnycake Ridge Rd.

Apple Valley, MN  55124


We also ask that you check the FeePay system and take care of any balance owed to your students lunch account.  This payment can be made online. 

Students: If you have not yet completed the senior survey please do so, it is only 3 questions.  SES Senior Survey