Dear Seniors and Families,
This is a follow up to our letter to families from June 18, which can be found here. On Saturday, June 26, 2021 RCS will be hosting the 2021 Commencement Ceremony at the Times Union Center in Albany, NY. The doors will open to families at 2:30 PM, and the ceremony will begin promptly at 4:00 PM. Students are asked to arrive and be in their seats no later than 3:15 PM. Here are some other additional reminders and information:
Parking - The school has secured free parking at the Times Union Parking Garage, which is behind and connected to the TU Center, accessible off Market Street. There is additional parking with the Albany Parking Authority, the Green Hudson Garage, at a cost of $5 per car and is located at 45 Hudson Avenue, Albany NY 12207. There is another parking garage, located on South Pearl St, to the right of the TU that is $10 per car. Since our ceremony is on Saturday, all on-street parking will be free, but is first-come, first-served.
Where to Enter the TU Center - Our students will enter the TU Center through their own entrance located on Beaver Street. Families will enter from the front entrance and Box Office entrance of the TU Center, which both face South Pearl Street. An elevator is located in the main entrance, to the right of the waterfall.
How to Enter the Ceremony - All visitors must display their tickets upon arrival and will be able to proceed to their assigned seats after demonstrating written proof of vaccination, recovery of COVID, or a negative COVID test. More details about the required types of proof may be found here or on our district website. Again, no person, including graduating seniors, will be allowed to enter the TU Center without demonstrating one of the required proofs listed above. If you or members of your family need to be tested prior to the ceremony, please click the link above to sign up for our free RCS rapid testing clinic. Here is the website for other possible testing sites in Albany County.
Please note that some or all of these testing locations will charge for testing services that may or may not be paid for by your insurance company. Here is the ACDOH COVID hotline number: (518) 447-4580.
During the Ceremony - The TU Center has informed us that, as per the Department of Health, vaccinated individuals will not be required to wear masks at the ceremony. Unvaccinated individuals are still required to wear masks. The current guidance for graduation ceremonies in New York State requires that ceremonies be streamlined to limit the time in which large-groups are gathered. Our shortened speeches and abbreviated musical numbers will all be geared toward celebrating our students. Students will be processing and recessing and the ceremony will be projected on the LCD screens within the TU Center. The ceremony will also be streamed live on our RCS Youtube channel. A link to the ceremony will be shared on our website at www.rcscsd.org and with families no later than Friday, June 25.
After the Ceremony - At the conclusion of our ceremony, families will exit back out to the main entrance, where they entered, and will meet their child outside on South Pearl Street or Beaver Street.
We will not be having a graduation rehearsal. However, we have a plan in which our students will be completely comfortable and confident during the ceremony. They will be directed to their seats by a chaperone and will be guided by the chaperones each time that they need to move during the ceremony. We will be sending another communication this Thursday, June 24, that will include maps for your convenience. If you have any questions, please give us a call at the high school main office at (518) 756-5200 ext. 2000.
Dr. Lisa Patierne, Principal