Graduation Ceremonies at EPIC are Totally EPIC

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, EPIC has been forced to re-think how best to honor our graduating class of 2020. That’s why EPIC has decided to host its first-ever virtual graduation at 1 p.m. on June 6. This event will be streamed live on several online platforms, including the EPIC website, epiccharterschools.org. Please see the email that was sent to graduates and their families on April 9, 2020 regarding this decision here.

The EPIC Virtual ceremony will include honors, recognitions, valedictorians, salutatorians, just as a traditional ceremony would. Each graduate’s name will be called as their picture is displayed. Honor cords will be mailed to students in advance of the ceremony.

SUBMIT YOUR GRADUATION PHOTO
Please submit one photo for our annual Senior Presentation.

Please submit your photo using the link above by May 15, 2020. This photo will be displayed as the graduate’s name is called for thousands to see, so please make sure that it is a current photo that you and your family will recognize. Photos should be free of filters, taken in good lighting, and be of the graduating student. Collages and group photos will not be accepted.

Each graduate will receive a printed program with every graduate’s name, along with their diploma and a diploma cover this summer. Please make sure that you include the mailing address of where you would like this sent when submitting the slideshow photo and update your mailing address in EpiCenter.

ORDER A CAP & GOWN
A cap & gown is not required for the virtual ceremony, but students are welcome to order one for their participation at home. Also, EPIC graduates of the class of 2020 are invited to participate in next year’s commencement and will be honored separately from the class of 2021.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do students register?
A: There is no need to register. Just submit your graduation photo for the slideshow and we will share the details of how to live stream the ceremony with all of the graduates and their families in advance of the ceremony, as well as post it on the EPIC website and social media.

Q: Why not reschedule?
A. The answer is the soonest venues capable of handling the size and scope of EPIC graduation ceremonies could accommodate us would be August. Even then, there’s strong evidence to suggest that cities will not be able to authorize gatherings of 10,000-plus people due to public health risks. EPIC’s commencement ceremonies in Oklahoma City and Tulsa last year each drew about 10,000 people and there is simply no way to socially distance amid events the size of 10,000 people.

Q: When will seniors be notified of their status?
A: We began qualifying and notifying students via email starting in March of 2020 and will continue to send reminders and notifications throughout the remainder of the school year.

Q: Are graduating seniors required to participate?
A: No, but we strongly encourage participation. All you have to do is send a picture, we will take care of the rest!

Q: How long does the ceremony last?
We try to keep the ceremony moving as quickly as possible, but with so many Seniors, it will last several hours. We will try to send approximate times to families in the days leading up to the virtual ceremony.

Q: Is there an EPIC Senior Shirt?
A: Yes, we hold a Senior Shirt design contest for all of our graduates each year, then the graduates themselves get to vote on their favorite of three designs by their fellow classmates. This year’s winner was Carwen Guzman, and the runners up were Erica Patton and Sierra Smith. You can see the rules, winning design at https://epiccharterschools.org/senior-t-shirt-contest.html. The deadline to place t-shirt order was Sunday, May 17.

Q: How much are caps and gowns?
A: If you have your Cap & Gown shipped to your home the total cost including shipping and handling is $49.90. The deadline for ship to home orders is Friday, May 29, 2020 for them to arrive by the ceremony on June 6*. You do not have to have a cap and gown for the virtual ceremony, but great to wear it. We would love to see the Class of 2020 participate in the 2021 ceremony. Don’t worry, we will recognize the class of 2020 as 2020 graduates in their own portion of the ceremony!

*Standard sizes should ship within 7-10 days, special sizes may take a little longer. Contact Herff-Jones at 1-866-238-5336 or visit herffjones.com for more information.

Q: Can the Learning Fund be used to pay for caps and gowns?
A: No. Since these items are traditionally saved as keepsakes and sizes vary, the Learning Fund may NOT be used.

Q: What honors does EPIC recognize in the commencement ceremony and program?
A: EPIC will provide the following honor cords, stoles and medals for students who qualify:

  • Valedictorian* – Valedictorian distinction will be awarded to anticipated graduates whose weighted cumulative grade point average is higher than a 4.25. Such students will receive a valedictorian medal at the graduation ceremony.
  • Salutatorian* – Salutatorian distinction will be awarded to anticipated graduates whose weighted cumulative grade point average is between a 4.01 and a 4.25. Such students will receive a salutatorian medal at the graduation ceremony.
  • Oklahoma Academic Scholar – Oklahoma Academic Scholars receive a certificate of recognition from the State Board of Education and their local high school, a gold seal affixed to their diploma, a green honor cord and the honor recorded on their official transcript. Learn more at: https://sde.ok.gov/academic-scholar-recognition-program.
  • Superintendent’s Honor Roll** – Superintendent’s Honor Roll is a distinction for all students earning a 4.0 and they are awarded a double blue and gold honor cord at graduation.
  • Principal’s Honor Roll** – Principal’s Honor Roll is a distinction for all students earning between a 3.5 and a 3.99 and they are awarded a white honor cord at graduation.
  • National Honor Society* – Students in the National Honor Society will receive a white NHS stole. If you were inducted into the National Honor Society at another school or district you will need to transfer your membership to EPIC. Learn more at: https://epiccharterschools.org/national-honor-society
  • EPIC Student Council – Members of the EPIC Student Council will receive a special stole to wear at graduation.

The stoles, medals and cords listed above will be sent to students in advance of the virtual ceremony on Saturday, June 6, 2020.

If students have earned additional honors outside of the ones listed above they are welcome to wear them.

*Valedictorian and salutatorian status will be determined by the weighted cumulative grade point average of all seniors as of the end of the first semester of their senior year. To be considered, a student must pace to the end of the first semester of their senior year no later than April 30. Students who completed all graduation requirements during the first semester of the school year also will be considered for valedictorian and salutatorian status.

**To be recognized in the printed graduation program as a Superintendent or Principal Honor Roll honoree, students must have completed the first semester of their senior year no later than April 30.

If through accelerated learning, a student finishes both his/her first and second semester of their senior year between April 30-May 30, he/she will still be recognized as a Superintendent or Principal Honor Roll honoree by virtue of them wearing an honor cord during the ceremony.

However, they will not be listed in the program as such an honoree as the program is printed between May 1-May 30.

Q: When will students receive their diploma?
A: Diplomas have always been mailed during the summer. Traditionally students have been given a diploma cover at the ceremony. This year we will mail the diploma cover and a printed commencement program along with the diplomas. Look for those to arrive in July. Make sure the mailing address is correct in EpiCenter.

*EPIC assets must be returned prior to diplomas being mailed. The Learning Fund will send additional information on how to return assets.

Q: What is the deadline to be listed in the graduation program?
A: To be guaranteed listing in the graduation program, a student must have a projected graduation date of June of that school year and no later than May 1 of the same school year.