Graduation 2020


Event: ChiArts Class of 2020 Virtual Graduation!
Date: Thursday, June 18, 2020
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Facebook and YouTube streaming! Link will be sent out the day of the ceremony, and we would love you to forward that link to everyone you know!

Virtual Graduation will follow the same format as our usual graduation. We’ll have special guests, each student will be recognized and celebrated by conservatory, along with speeches and celebrating. We know you won’t want to miss it!

Update 5/27/2020: Drive up Processional!

We have added a drive up processional/photo opportunity to our graduation festivities. This will be in addition to our Virtual Graduation Ceremony we are having on June 18. For the drive up processional, students will have the opportunity to drive to ChiArts, walk across our special graduation stage in front of the building and have their name read and photo/video taken. 
This will take place on Thursday June 4, and Friday, June 5. You will be assigned a time and day. You will need to RSVP to the email with your time and date.
Here’s how this will work:
1) On your designated time and day, you will drive to ChiArts and put your car in line on Augusta Blvd. Cars will line up in the parking spaces in front of ChiArts heading East (toward California/Spinning J). You will stay in your car.
2) You will need to already be in your cap and gown. (Feel free to decorate your caps! We love seeing your creativity!)
3) You will need to bring your diploma cover
4) Once your car gets to the front of the car line, the student will exit the car (and only the student). Family will need to stay in the car. 
5) The student will be video recorded and photographed crossing the “Stage” that we will build in front of the scholar artist entrance to the school while their name is read. Families may take their own photographs from the car. 
6) The student will then return to the car and drive away. 
7) We STRONGLY prefer students come in cars. In the event that car transportation is not possible, students will be lined up and socially distant on the sidewalk. Families are not permitted to stand with their student. Families without cars should wait across the street from the school on Augusta. Families MUST wear masks and practice social distancing from anyone else on the sidewalk. 
8) Students MUST come during their designated time/window. Students coming at the wrong time will not have their picture taken.
9) There is a contingency plan for rainy weather. We will communicate that out (if needed) when we are closer to the event.
10) In the event that the student is not able to attend, we will either use a student submitted video or the yearbook photo taken in the fall.
Next steps:
You will be sent a day and time by the end of the day on May 29. Please do not come at other times to cheer on your friends. Underlying every decision is the desire to keep staff, students and families safe.

READ ON for information on the Chicago City Wide Graduation!

+ Mark your calendars  – June 14, 2020 at 1 pm – for the Chicago City Wide Graduation. Here’s the official website:

To celebrate you, your classmates and all of your accomplishments, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Dr. Janice K. Jackson invite you to take part in the City’s first-ever virtual graduation for Chicago’s Class of 2020 high school seniors. Graduation 2020: For Chicago. By Chicago will be held on Sunday, June 14 at 1:00 PM. Local broadcast channels will air the ceremony live and it will also be streamed online. 

The ceremony will feature Oprah Winfrey as the Commencement Speaker, Hamilton Star Miguel Cervantes as the Host/MC and other celebrities and stars known to Chicago will appear throughout. Your classmates from across the City will also be highlighted in performances and speeches. The Grad2020 Ceremony will celebrate every high school senior in Chicago, including those from Chicago Public Schools, ArchDiocese of Chicago schools, Charter schools and all private schools across the City. Visit our website for program updates and more information on the show. 

We want you to join in on the fun! Mayor Lightfoot is inviting all high school seniors to submit a video of their “graduation walk” for a chance to be featured in the show. Please see additional instructions on the website. We can’t wait to see your creativity on display!


+ Caps, gowns, and diploma covers have been delivered. Didn’t get yours? Fill out this form:
+ Conservatory cords as well as National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society Cords will be included. 
+ Here’s how you wear the cords:

+ After you receive these items, wear your cap and gown when you create these *two videos: 

A video of you “receiving” your diploma, example HERE. 
A video of you turning your tassel from right to left, example HERE

*Please keep these videos simple and short. 
**If you are using a phone to record the videos, please film them horizontally.

Once you record your videos, please email them to Mr. Bracken at Please title them with your name and conservatory like this: Bracken, Mark Theatre 

Deadline for videos is May 29. You do not have to submit a video if you will be participating in the drive up processional/Photo Op.

+ If you indicated on your senior survey that you had ChiArts Items (computer, textbooks, Choir Gowns (conservatory items), calculators) you will need to give those items to Mr. Bracken/Dr. McCowen when they bring  your cap, gown and diploma cover. Students with ChiArts Musical Instruments should reach out to Ms. Ko to arrange the return of those instruments. Please be sure to label these items clearly so that we know that we received your items back.

+ Diplomas have not arrived yet. The company that makes them is just now reopening after being shut down for 8 weeks. Diplomas and Final transcripts will be delivered on or before June 18. 

+ Final transcripts will be sent to the college you indicated on your Senior Survey the first week of June. Please email Dr. McCowen at if your college changes. 

***Note: Colleges will send you many many many reminders about your Final transcript, even if you have already had them sent. Please check with the college no earlier than June 18 before emailing Dr. McCowen. 99% of the time, the college already has the transcript***

+ Senior locker clean-out (and artwork retrieval)  will probably occur in late June. As of May 27, we are still waiting on CPS to give us more instruction on this.

Faculty: Please submit a headshot for the faculty “Processional” to
Deadline: June 3, 2020