VERO BEACH, Fla. — Over the past few months, any number of traditions have been upended by the coronavirus pandemic, from the start of baseball in the spring to Fourth of July celebrations. For high school seniors, though, special moments like prom and graduation can be lost forever. That's why Vero Beach High School has embraced an intriguing alternative for its senior class.
Vero Beach High School will be hosting a drive-thru graduation ceremony Friday. The ceremony will take place in two parts. There will be a morning ceremony at the school's stadium, the Citrus Bowl, for seniors only.
This will be followed by an evening drive-thru ceremony for seniors and their families.
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Graduating seniors and their families will participate in a drive-thru procession past the stage. When their name is called, students can exit their vehicles, walk across the stage and receive their diploma. The graduating class will hear a commencement address, as well as speeches from their principal and fellow students.
School officials, including Indian River County Superintendent David Moore, felt this format accommodated social distancing guidelines, while still giving students and their families their moment on stage.
"We believe this is the best option that works," Moore said. "Does it make everybody happy? No. Does it keep everyone safe and in a controlled environment? Yes."
Moore said any family that does not have a car should contact the school's principal to ensure they are still able to participate. Both ceremonies will be recorded and live streamed for those unable to attend.