Drive-thru diploma conferring planned for June, more events scheduled

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The more traditional graduation ceremony in June will be replaced with a drive-thru ceremony. An in-person event may be held in late July or early August. Staff photo

By Max Bowen-max.bowen@northstarreporter.com

In order to ensure student safety, North Attleborough Schools have planned a drive-thru diploma conferring ceremonyy, but hope to have a more traditional event later in the summer.

According to School Superintendent Scott Holcomb, the drive-thru ceremony will be June 11, with a rain date set for June 12.

It’s one phase of a multi-phase process,” said Holcomb at a Town Council meeting on Wednesday. “We’re hoping to plan a face-to-face ceremony as we lower the guidelines.”

High School Principal Peter Haviland said that the goal is to get the students their diplomas as soon as possible, which will in turn help them whether they’re going on to college, into the workforce, or the military. Students will arrive at the campus in their caps and gowns, then get out of their vehicles and walk up to a podium at the front door and receive their diplomas. They’ll then move their tassels from one side of their motor boards to the other—symbolic of becoming graduates—and have their photos taken. More details will be posted as the date approaches.

Haviland said students will be kept in small groups. Separate from this, there will be speeches from the school officials, valedictorian, and salutatorian, which will be recorded and posted online.

We’re not turning our backs on our seniors,” said Haviland. “They’ve worked too hard.”

Among the other events to be held will be the Fisher Kelly Athletic Awards on May 29, the academic awards on June 2, and senior awards night on June 4. All will be virtual online ceremonies. A senior video will be posted on June 5—the date on which the graduation was originally to be held. The Big Red Rolling Rally will be on June 9 at 6:30 p.m., a car parade throughout the town, originating from and returning to the schools.

The week of June 22, there will be a Class of 2020 graduation video, with speeches, performances, and a diploma conferring ceremony. An in-person graduation ceremony is tentatively scheduled for a date between July 19-Aug. 1, and a prom [or similar event] between July 19-Aug. 6. Both will be determined based on state guidelines for large group gatherings and student and family preference

Haviland said that once schools were closed in mid-March, discussions began on how a lengthy closure could impact future events. Haviland spoke to area principals, as well as student government, parent groups, and faculty.

We will be communicating the details of how the event will work,” said Haviland. “Safety and health is the highest priority.”