Due to public safety concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic, Highline Public Schools will be holding drive-through graduation parades for the Class of 2020 this year.
Locally, grads from Mount Rainier High School will celebrate on Tuesday, June 16 in the school’s parking lot.
“We wish we could give them a traditional graduation ceremony. Since that is not possible due to the pandemic, we have worked hard to plan a creative way to celebrate commencement,” said Susan Enfield, Superintendent.
Seniors and families will be scheduled to rotate through a drive-through graduation ceremony. Wearing their cap and gown, each student will receive their diploma cover, get a professional photo taken, and be cheered on by teachers and staff with appropriate social distancing. Students will turn their tassel and also receive senior awards, yearbook, graduation programs and Class of 2020 memorabilia.
Initially, the district hoped to postpone graduations until July or August–or even later–based on feedback from seniors. But with large gatherings likely banned throughout the summer, district leaders proposed the drive-through event and received the support of senior class officers. Some students said that delaying even until August would mean they would not be able to participate because they would be gone to college or military service.
“We were concerned that we might plan graduations later this summer, only to have them canceled due to public safety concerns,” Enfield said. “We wanted to make sure our seniors get the celebration they deserve, as close to a traditional commencement as we can have under the circumstances.”
A complete list of graduation dates and times for each high school are posted on the Highline Public Schools website. Students may use this form to request transportation if needed to participate in their graduation. More information is available at highlineschools.org/classof2020.
More graduation logistics and details will be provided to families in the next few weeks.
See Superintendent Susan Enfield’s Instagram video announcement for seniors at instagram.com/highlineschools.
Check the links below for detailed information about your student’s ceremony and cap and gowns: