This is an unusual time for everyone but for graduating seniors at Rochester Public Schools, this is also a confusing time.  Plans were shared with graduating seniors and families for mini-graduating ceremonies on May 7th but those plans were rescinded on May 8th due to Covid-19 and guidelines that were in place for safety.  10 days later and graduates have another new plan for their big day.

I have a high school senior so I understand the emotional rollercoaster these last few months have been for the families and students.  Everything...and I mean EVERYTHING...has been canceled for these kids.  Every graduate should have the chance to celebrate their big day though, wear that cap and gown if they'd like, and enjoy the moment that they've been working towards these last 12+ years.

This morning an email came from the school district that shares their upcoming plans to celebrate the students safely.  Here's what the new ceremony will look like:


Each high school will honor our graduates with a “Drive-Up” Ceremony to receive their diploma and a photo opportunity.



• It is optional to participate.

• Graduates are invited to the school (dates/times below) to receive their diploma. They are encouraged to wear their cap and gown.

• Graduates are asked to have a parent or someone in their household drive them to the school, if possible.

• The graduate should be on the passenger side of the vehicle, if possible.

• The graduate will be permitted to exit the vehicle to receive his or her diploma. Graduates have the opportunity to pick up their diploma from a stand (no contact), or receive it from their principal. Students who do not leave their vehicle will receive their diploma through the vehicle window. Principals will be wearing gloves and masks. No other individuals will be permitted to exit the vehicle.

• We will have a photographer to take a brief, candid photograph of the student receiving his or her diploma. This will not be a posed photo.

• MDE guidelines state: “In curbside pick-up, social distancing guidelines apply. Individuals picking up materials should wear cloth face coverings.”

• School staff are invited to observe graduation while practicing social distancing. All staff will be required to wear masks.

• The District will be creating a video of each drive-up ceremony, including speeches from Rochester Public School Board Chair Deborah Seelinger, Superintendent Michael Munoz, and others. We will make this link available to our students and parents as soon as it is available.



• Friday, May 29 from 4 - 7 PM

• Rain Date: Saturday, May 30 from 4 - 7 PM

As with everything today, this could change, but at least we have some news today.  Thank you, Rochester Public Schools, for doing this for our seniors!

Do you have a high school senior?  I'd love to give them a shoutout!  Send me a message on my Facebook page (Jessica On The Radio) or DM me on Instagram.

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