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RCS announces live graduation for Class of 2020

Dear Families,                                                

We are very excited to be able to offer an additional opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of our 2020 graduates. We completed the filming of our virtual graduation last week and families had an opportunity to see their children cross the stage.  We have seen the final product and the premier at the Jericho Drive-In on Sunday, June 28 at 9 p.m. is going to be fantastic (a letter and tickets for that event is included in this correspondence).

The governor has recently announced the opportunity for us to hold a live graduation with a maximum of 150 participants.  We are writing to you today to share information about the live RCS graduation to be held on Saturday, June 27 at 9 a.m. on the RCS campus. Unlike the virtual graduation with a few family members, this event will give our entire class an opportunity to share this accomplishment together.  These 118 graduates have not seen each other since March so we have developed a plan for them to come together while also allowing families to enjoy the ceremony.  Before we describe the details for that morning, we must share the directives from the governor and the New York State Department of Health:

The RCS High School will continue to follow directives from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) as it pertains to our graduation planning. The following is specific guidance issued by the New York State Department of Health on drive-through graduation ceremonies:

Drive-through Ceremonies:

  • Students will move in a single-direction flow and all individuals must remain at least six feet apart at all times.
  • There must not be person-to-person contact during the celebration. Individuals may not shake hands, hug, or high-five.  
  • Diplomas will be pre-arranged for students to retrieve them without direct interaction with other individuals.
  • Any individual in attendance must wear a mask or face covering at all times, if they are over age two and able to medically tolerate a covering. Everyone must wear a facemask when outside of their vehicle. Individual students may temporarily remove their masks or face coverings while crossing the award area or having their individual photo taken.

Note:  Only students and families who are willing to adhere to the above directives may participate in this live graduation ceremony.

The remainder of this letter contains instructions for families. You will find directions for students on a separate sheet which is enclosed in this correspondence. 


  • Each family will be able to bring two vehicles to the live graduation. In order to allow access for all families, only passenger vehicles, SUVs and non-commercial trucks will be allowed at this ceremony (no RVs, buses, limos, or anything in tow).  There is no limit on the number of family members who can be in the one or two vehicles, as long as it is the legal capacity of your vehicle .


  • Students and their families should arrive on campus between 8:30 and 8:55 a.m.
  • We will not be admitting vehicles onto our campus after 8:55 a.m. until after the ceremony is over. 
  • Included in this envelope are two full-size window signs for your two vehicles.  It is of course okay to bring only one vehicle.  Please place your sign in your front car window(s) prior to entering campus.
  • There are 13 different parking areas on campus.  Your sign corresponds with your parking area (example = 5A and 5AA would be in parking area 5).  You should proceed directly to that area upon entering the campus.  Please consult the map that is included with this letter.  There will be ample signage on campus and many people directing traffic.  
  • Please note that Parking Groups 5-10 will enter the campus from the rear entrance on Rt. 101.  All other groups will enter the campus from 9W.


  • The ceremony will include the Pledge of Allegiance, National Anthem, a brief welcome from our high school principal, Dr. Patierne, and the procession of students across the stage.  Students’ names will be called and they will process across the stage to receive their diploma, just like a normal graduation.
  • We will be moving families around the campus in their vehicles in order to bring them to the ceremony prior to their graduate crossing the stage.  You will be given clear directives to accomplish this task in a single line procession.
  • Once at the ceremony site (the student parking lot) you will be directed to line up along a curb.  If you have two cars for your family, you will park alongside each other (example = 5A will be parked next to 5AA as seen at right). The single letter designation means that vehicle will be closest to the curb and the ceremony.  This is important to note in case you have guests that can not or will not be exiting the vehicle.  They will be able to see the ceremony if they stay in the car.  There will be boxes painted on the parking lot as well as assistants directing traffic so that you know where to stop your vehicle.
  • Do not leave your vehicle until directed to do so and as a reminder, anyone that exits the vehicle must be wearing a mask.  
  • Once asked to exit your vehicle(s), you and your family will be directed to a viewing area that is in front of the stage.  After you are in place your child’s name will be called.  He/she will cross the stage, pause for a moment for a photo op, and exit the stage.  You will then return to your vehicle.

After the Ceremony:

  • When directed to leave the ceremony area, families should exit the campus to Route 9W.  If you need to wait for your child in order to give him/her a ride, you may park in the parking lot closest to the athletic stadium until the ceremony is over.  

We hope to be able to acknowledge all of our graduates and complete the ceremony in about 75 minutes. There will be lots of logistics to make it happen, but it will be worth it for our students.  While outside we will be subject to the weather and we have reserved a rain date of Sunday, June 28 at 9 a.m.  Families will be notified by robocall and the information will be listed on our website by 7:30 a.m. on the morning of the event if we need to reschedule or cancel the ceremony. 

We look forward to seeing you all as we celebrate the Class of 2020!  

Warm Regards,

Lisa Patierne            


Herb Tedford

Assistant Principal