Over the course of the last few weeks, since Roanoke Rapids Graded School District was forced to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic, RRGSD administrators, faculty, and staff have been hard at work to meet the needs of all students and our community.
While all of our students are in the forefront of our minds as we make decisions right now, the Senior Class of 2020, in particular, stands out for us. We know that they are missing important senior year experiences, which none of us wanted to happen. Dr. Butler, Mr. White, our district and high school staff have brainstormed the best ways to celebrate the Class of 2020 and provide the best possible graduation ceremony for our seniors. The RRGSD Board of Trustees supports the following plan for the 2020 Graduation Ceremony.
RRHS Graduation 2020 will be held on May 29 at 5:30 pm. Seniors will attend, and all family members and friends can watch online in real-time on YouTube. All seniors will receive a graduation program and be able to walk across the auditorium stage, receive their diploma, and be photographed.
To ensure the safety and health of all participants, this graduation ceremony will follow these procedures:
After returning their Chromebooks, chargers, library books and paying any fees owed to the school by May 20th, seniors will receive an email with specific instructions including which classroom to report to for graduation.
On May 29, seniors will arrive at RRHS at 4:30 pm with their caps, gowns, and honor cords. Staff will be stationed at every Senior Building entrance to provide seniors with masks as they enter the building. All participants must wear masks the entire time except when they are crossing the stage and taking their photo with Mr. White.
Seniors will report to their designated classroom based on their last name. (There will be 9 seniors and 1 staff member in each classroom.) Staff will direct students to form an alphabetical line to prepare for entrance into the auditorium. (One classroom will dismiss and proceed to the auditorium at a time.)
At 5:30 pm, the graduation ceremony will begin with a welcome message from Mr. White, the introduction of speakers, four student speeches, and the conferring of diplomas. Students will watch this portion of the ceremony on YouTube using the classroom SmartBoard projectors. After each student’s speech concludes, that student will go to his or her designated classroom.
When it is time for the presentation of the diplomas and turning of the tassels, “Pomp and Circumstance” will begin to play softly in the background. One classroom at a time, alphabetically, seniors will move from the classrooms to the auditorium. Staff members will guide students onto the stage.
Once each student arrives on the stage behind the curtain, they may voluntarily take off their masks.
Each senior will walk across the stage toward Mr. White, who will be holding a diploma cover for photographic purposes only. Mr. White and the senior will turn toward the photographer for a photo with Mr. White holding the diploma cover. After the photo, seniors will look at the Livestream camera and turn their tassels.
Each senior will exit the right side of the stage, put their masks back on, and proceed out of the auditorium to go to a designated location to receive their actual diploma and gifts.
All seniors will then exit the RRHS campus.
Once the graduation ceremony is over, the entire Livestreamed video will be archived and posted on the RRGSD YouTube page for future viewing.
RRGSD will provide each senior’s photo as a gift. Photos will be mailed to the student’s home address listed in PowerSchool at the time of graduation.
We know that our graduation ceremony will not be exactly the same as in normal times, but we intend to create as many of these experiences as possible for every senior … together as the Class of 2020.
Senior Class of 2020, WE LOVE YOU and #WeGotThis!