The Class of 2020 will have a fitting venue as they prepare to ‘cross the finish line’ and mark the end of their high school careers.
The district has arranged with the Gainesville Raceway to hold open air graduation ceremonies at the facility June 8-10 for the district’s seven high schools. To maintain social distancing, students and their families will drive into the Raceway and up to a decorated stage. As the graduates’ names are called out over the loudspeaker, they will get out of their cars, walk across the stage to accept their diplomas and have their photos taken. They will then get back in their cars and drive down a strip that runs next to the racetrack before exiting the facility.
The Gainesville Raceway is providing their facility to the district free of charge.
“We’re happy we can help the Class of 2020 have a graduation ceremony,” said track manager Mike Yurick. “We hope it will be a memorable experience for them.”
“When COVID-19 closed schools, I made it a priority to have some sort of in-person graduation ceremony for our seniors,” said Superintendent Karen Clarke. “This ‘hybrid’ approach gives graduates the opportunity to walk across the stage in their caps and gowns while still keeping everyone as safe as possible.”
The schedule of ceremonies will be as follows:
Newberry High School, 9-11 a.m.
Hawthorne High School, 2-3:30 p.m.
PAM@Loften High School, 6-7:30 p.m.
Eastside High School, 9:30-noon
Buchholz High School, 5-7:30 p.m.
Santa Fe High School, 9:30-noon
Gainesville High School, 5-7:30 p.m.
Each high school will be sending specific instructions for the ceremonies directly to students and families.