MASSENA — 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 St. Lawrence County schools providing alternative ceremonies for their students:
Canton: Saturday, June 27
A “drive-in” graduation will be held in the school side parking lot. Good-Guys Productions will broadcast close-up views from the stage and will also simulcast sound from the stage to a reserved radio frequency. Each graduate will be appropriately spaced, but seated together in front of the stage. Immediate family members with whom the student lives with will be able to view the ceremony from their cars.
Colton-Pierrepont: Friday, June 26
An in-person graduation will be held at 7 p.m. on the front lawn adjacent to the bus loop/parking lot. Each graduate can invite immediate family members to attend the invitation-only outdoor ceremony, which will be live-streamed for other family members, faculty, staff and the Colton-Pierrepont Central School community.
Edwards-Knox: Saturday, June 27
The outdoor ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. and is by invitation only. Two vehicles will be allowed per graduate, and parking will begin at 10 a.m.
Heuvelton: Saturday, June 27
Graduation will take place at 12:30 p.m. on the soccer field behind the school. The closed ceremony will limit the number of people who can attend — two cars per immediate family of the graduate. The ceremony will be projected on a large screen with tuning into an FM radio station for those in their vehicles. The ceremony will be live-streamed and recorded for later showing.
Hermon-DeKalb: Friday, June 26
Students will arrived by 5:45 p.m. for the ceremony in the auditorium and will be limited to five guests each. Following speeches from the valedictorian and salutatorian, scholarships will be read and diplomas will be presented to the graduates.
Plan B is for an individual ceremony, with each graduate signing up for a 10-minute block. Speeches will be recorded and shared on the morning of graduation, and will also air on the radio following graduation. Each graduate will enter individually and families will stand in front of the stage to avoid sanitizing seats between each ceremony. The full graduation ceremony will be available on the school’s website and Facebook page on Saturday June 27.
Massena: Saturday, July 25
Ceremonies will be held at 7 p.m. on the high school turf field, with a rain date of Sunday, July 26. Schools are currently limited to 150 individuals at graduation, while Massena has 178 possible graduates. School officials hope that, with information changing regularly, they may be able to have a more traditional ceremony by July 25. If not, they will hold a drive-through graduation the same day.
Morristown: Saturday, June 27
Ceremonies will take place at 2 p.m. at the Volunteer Fire Department Station Pavilion, which is large enough to hold the 150 maximum for an outdoor ceremony. The 19 seniors can invite up to six guests. Following speeches by the class president, salutatorian and valedictorian, students receiving awards and scholarships will be recognized, followed by the presentation of diplomas.
Norwood-Norfolk: Friday, June 26
The current plan is for a parking lot graduation at 5 p.m., with the ceremony also broadcast on Youtube. The 75 graduates will be seated in front of the school, socially distanced, with one car per family. Families must remain in their vehicles, and each vehicle will receive a Chromebook to view the ceremony through the school’s wifi. The ceremony will conclude with a car procession, led by the Norwood and Norfolk police departments, fire departments and first responders in the communities.
Ogdensburg: Saturday, June 27
The district has four possible plans for ceremonies for the 110 members of the Class of 2020. Plan A is for an outdoor ceremony at noon with the location to be determined, with a rate date of Sunday, June 28. Plan B is for a ceremony at 6 p.m. July 17, with rain dates of 10 a.m. July 18 and 3 p.m. July 19. Plan C is to hold the ceremony at 6 p.m. Aug. 7, with rain dates of 10 a.m. Aug. 8 and 3 p.m. Aug. 9. If there is still no change in restrictions related to COVID-19 by Aug. 1, the class will be split into three or four groups for several traditional ceremonies.
Parishville-Hopkinton: Saturday, June 27
Ceremonies will be held at 11:30 a.m. on the Parishville-Hopkinton Central School soccer field.
Potsdam: Saturday, July 11
Graduation will be held at 11 a.m. on the high school’s multipurpose field. No further details are being released as school officials are waiting until the date gets closer to determine the public health guidance at that time.
St. Lawrence (Brasher): Friday, June 26
A “drive-in” graduation ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. on the turf field for graduates and in vehicles surrounding the turf field for families. Each graduate is allowed one car. As students are called, parents will be able to join them in the “on deck” circle awaiting to walk the stage. Family members will then return to their vehicles. The ceremony will be live-streamed on YouTube, with the link posted the morning of graduation on both the district’s website and Facebook page. A parade to conclude graduation will be held following the ceremony at approximately 7:15 p.m., with a rain date of 10 a.m. Saturday, June 27.