As schools across the state are not set to reopen until the third stage of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s “Roadmap to Recovery,” districts have spent the last month planning graduation ceremonies that allow the Class of 2020 and families to celebrate.
Because the stay-at-home orders issued by Newsom and San Joaquin County Public Health Services encourages social distancing and limited travel, the Lodi Unified and Galt Joint Unified school districts have had to be creative when it comes to crafting events in which their communities can participate, even if limited.
Lodi High School had its seniors come to its south parking lot on Thursday to receive their diploma covers and take photos in their caps and gowns. Only one car per family was permitted into the parking lot, and only one other person other than the graduate was able to exit the vehicle to take pictures.
The school will host a virtual graduation at 6 p.m. on May 26, to be watched live on its YouTube channel and the district’s Facebook page.
The event will feature pre-recorded speeches from the school’s valedictorian, senior class president and principal Adam Auerbach, as well as a montage of photos and videos taken throughout the year.
Tokay High School will host a Class of 2020 diploma procession on campus at 7:45 a.m. on May 27. The procession will be a drive-through event, distributing diploma covers to graduating seniors in alphabetical order.
Because of social distancing requirements, the school is limiting attendance to one family per senior in a vehicle. Attendees will enter campus through the staff parking lot and receive a program and form a vehicle line.
Families will then exit their vehicles and take a photo with their senior in front of a Tokay High backdrop, return to their vehicles and drive to the bus circle. There, the senior’s name will be called and families will exit campus toward Ham Lane.
Students A-E will be called between 7:45 a.m. an 9 a.m.; students F-L will be called between 9 a.m. and 10:15 a.m., students M-Q will be called between 10:15 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.; and students Q-Z will be called between 11:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m.
The high school’s virtual graduation, featuring speeches from the valedictorian, Principal Erik Sandstrom and various school board members, will be livestreamed on May 27 at 7 p.m. on its YouTube channel, as well as the district’s Facebook page.
Independence School will distribute diploma covers between 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on May 28, and students will be able to take photos in front of the school’s banner. A virtual graduation will be livestreamed on the school’s YouTube channel and the district’s Facebook page at 1 p.m. that day.
Liberty High School will distribute diplomas on May 29 from 1-3 p.m. at the First Baptist Church Parking Lot, located at 267 N. Mills Ave. Students will be able to take a photo in front of the Class of 2020 banner and participate in a drive-through ceremony at the church. A virtual graduation ceremony will be livestreamed on May 28 at 10 a.m.
Galt High School will hold a variety of events celebrating its Class of 2020 next week, beginning with a senior celebration drive-thru from 8-11 a.m. on May 28. Seniors will be able to collect all their end-of-the-year items, including diplomas, from their families’ vehicles.
That evening at 8:20 p.m. the school will turn on the stadium lights for an hour to celebrate seniors and allow them extra time to return text books.
A parade is scheduled for June 2, where school staff and administrators will drive through the streets of Galt, visiting each senior to cheer them on. Students are encouraged to post signs in their front yards, decorate their homes and dress in their caps and gowns for the event.
Students are then invited to a Parade of Lights at Warriors Stadium to see the lights shine one last time. Families will be limited to one per vehicle.
Liberty Ranch High School will host a drive-thru cap and gown celebration from 8-11 a.m. on May 28. Seniors will be called in alphabetical order, with last names A-G in the first hour, last names H-Q in the second, and last names R-Z in the last.
A parade will be conducted on June 2 from 6:30 p.m., where high school staff and administration will drive to each senior’s home for a celebration. Students are encouraged to wear their cap and gowns. A drive-thru celebration will be held at the school that evening at 8:30 p.m.