Amid restrictions due to COVID-19, Amsterdam High School has announced its graduation plans for the Class of 2020, planning two-days of events on June 26 and 27.
Graduation will kick off with a virtual ceremony at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, June 26, followed by a drive-thru diploma celebration starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 27.
“While traditional commencement ceremonies are still not allowed per Gov. Cuomo’s executive order surrounding the coronavirus, we have been working hard to plan something special for our seniors,” AHS Principal Tyrone O’Meally said in a news release. “They have been through a lot this year and they deserve to be honored to the fullest.”
District officials worked with student leaders and county health officials to design the event. While other districts have opted to utilize local drive-in theaters for graduations or will host events limited to 150 people, the graduation committee felt neither option suited Amsterdam’s needs.
“This is an important occasion and we want to make sure all of our families can experience it,” said GASD Interim Superintendent Raymond Colucciello in the release.
While the virtual ceremony on Friday, June 26 will resemble past in-person commencements with music, speakers, special videos and a tribute to the Class of 2020, it will be held virtually and shown on the district’s YouTube channel. The ceremony will also be recorded so it can be viewed at a later date.
At the drive-thru diploma celebration on June 27, graduates are encouraged to wear their caps and gowns, decorate their caps and adorn their cars with celebratory decorations. To prevent large gatherings, students are being scheduled to pick up their diplomas in smaller groups based on their last names.
Arrive at 10 a.m. — A-E
Arrive at 11 a.m. — E-L
Arrive at noon — M-R
Arrive at 1 p.m. — S-Z
Families are asked to arrive at the high school in their vehicles during the designated time slot via Midline Road. They will be directed to the bus loop and graduates will be announced when to exit their cars, one at a time, to be awarded their diplomas and have their picture taken by a professional photographer at no charge to families. Other family members must stay in their car during the proceedings.
Each graduate will receive a custom-made AHS Class of 2020 mask when he or she pulls into the parking lot. The masks should be worn by graduates when exiting their vehicles and can be removed for the graduation photo only.