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RCS graduation 2020 update – Letter to Families – June 10, 2020

Dear Students and Families,                                                                                 

The governor held a press conference this weekend and updated his executive orders to schools, specifically around graduation. RCS will now be allowed to congregate up to 150 participants in an outdoor graduation ceremony. The governor also cautioned that this ability to convene may be rescinded if there is a spike in the COVID-19 illness. We have spent the past 48 hours conferring with our legal counsel, local leaders, and community members in order to develop an updated plan to celebrate the accomplishments of the class of 2020 under this new guidance.

As you may recall, we have already completed the professional video footage of most aspects of a traditional graduation ceremony for our 2020 grads, including the Pledge of Allegiance, the singing of our National Anthem, Top Ten pinning, principal’s message, student speeches and procession across the stage, conveyance of diplomas and staff/student memories. The finalized video is scheduled to premiere at the Jericho Drive-In on Sunday, June 28 at 9 p.m.  These plans will remain in place. The video will also be available to be streamed and downloaded after the ceremony.

With this new executive order in place, RCS will be adding to the plans described above, allowing for all of our graduates to be together to celebrate this momentous occasion. The 63rd annual RCS live commencement will be held on Saturday, June 27 at 9 a.m., behind our high school.  During this live ceremony, the celebration will be limited to the Pledge of Allegiance, the singing of our National Anthem, a quick greeting to our students, and the procession across the stage where students will receive their actual diplomas (they already received their diploma holders at the virtual graduation recording). In adherence with social distancing guidelines, students will be seated and will process a minimum of six feet apart during the ceremony.  

In observance of the executive order that limits attendance at graduations to 150 people, and knowing that we will have 118 graduates plus staff in attendance, we will be organizing a procession of families. This procession will be organized by alphabet and will be directed to the ceremony area of the campus in their vehicles at the appropriate time. Small groups of families will get out of their vehicles and be able to hear their child’s name being called and see him/her walk across the stage.

Students will remain with their class for the duration of the ceremony. After their child has crossed the stage, each family will re-enter their vehicle(s) and drive away so that the next group of families may watch their child cross the stage. We will not be limiting the number of family members who can attend. The ceremony will also be streamed live so that families who wish to do so can watch the remainder of the students cross the stage.

We will be sending detailed instructions that will clarify any questions you may have on or before June 18 to our graduates and their families so that they may enjoy both of these opportunities to celebrate the Class of 2020. We thank you for your patience as we design ways to make this a memorable event for these hard-working young men and women.

As always, sending positive thoughts and wishes to you and your family! 

Dr. Lisa Patierne