WATERTOWN — Though traditional graduations haven’t been an option due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, local districts have gotten creative with their planning to make sure students still have some form of celebration to acknowledge their achievements.
Here is an ongoing compilation of Jefferson County schools providing alternative ceremonies for their students:
Belleville Henderson: Sunday, June 28
The district held individual ceremonies for students and families in which all 34 seniors walked through, which were recorded for later viewing.
At 2 p.m. on the school campus, seniors will be able to pull up and view the video, with each senior walking and a few other things thrown in, on running board marketing trucks.
Carthage Central School: Friday, June 26
A “drive-through” commencement ceremony will begin at 5 p.m.
Graduates have been given a time slot with 10 vehicles lined up at a time for the drive through. Students, in their caps and gowns, will walk to a table to pick up their diploma and pause for a photograph before returning to their vehicles. Families will receive the professional photograph of their graduate.
The diploma distribution has been divided into four grouping. Following the presentation of diplomas, for each group, families of the graduates will be invited to participate in a parade through Carthage. The school district is encouraging business owners and residents to decorate “to show the Class of 2020 that we share their Comet Pride.”
The ceremony will be live-streamed on the school’s website and a professional video will be compiles with a copy given to each graduate along with the senior slide show.
South Jefferson: Thursday, June 25
The district will hold a senior farewell and send-off at 10 a.m. Students may arrive at the south high school entrance beginning at 9:45 a.m. One car per graduate. Decorations are encouraged. Students and guests must remain in their cars at all times, and wear masks whenever their windows are down.
Information regarding the graduation ceremony is expected to be shared by the district early next week.
General Brown: Friday, June 26
A full, live ceremony will be held on the turf for all graduates at 6 p.m. Due to constraints, no guests will be allowed. The only people that will be allowed on campus are graduates and limited school staff. A live stream of this event will be shared; the link will be on the front page of the district’s website.
In the case of inclement weather, the rain date will be Saturday, June 27, at 11 a.m.
Indian River: Friday, June 26
Beginning at 4 p.m., the district will hold a graduation ceremony for seniors at the Black River Drive-In.
Watertown: Saturday, June 27
Beginning at 10:30 a.m., students and their immediate family members will be invited to line up for a car parade down Washington Street to the elementary campuses so teachers and staff can help celebrate the seniors.
The district will have four running board trucks and hopes to have a local radio station present to make sure everyone can listen to the same playlist and celebrate together, even from their individual vehicles.
Both drone and ground shots will be taken of the celebration, which is not open to the public.
Alexandria Bay: Wednesday, June 17
Beginning with a car parade at 8:30 p.m., graduates will be able to drive around in celebration and then pull into the drive-in theater in Alexandria Bay for the more formal graduation proceedings.
This list will be updated as information becomes available.
Lyme: Friday, June 19
A graduate parade will begin at the Three Mile Bay Fire Hall at 5:45 p.m. A graduation ceremony will follow at 6 p.m. A live stream link will be made available on the district’s website immediately following the ceremony.
Thousand Islands: Friday, June 19
For graduates and family members, the district will hold individualized graduations on the turf field beginning at 1 p.m.
Sackets Harbor: Wednesday, June 24
Beginning with a car parade, which will line up at 6 p.m. via Woolsey Street, participants will have the option to decorate their vehicles and celebrate their graduates around town before ending at the polo fields in Madison Barracks.
Following the car parade, a drive-in graduation ceremony will take place on the polo fields, consisting of a graduation video complete with scholarship and award announcements, messages to grads and more.
Students will be able to wear their caps and gowns during the ceremony, which will end with the turning of tassels as a class outside of their cars, but still socially distant.