This year, Crothersville High School’s graduation is heading outdoors.
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in schools closing and students completing assignments via eLearning, and Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb’s executive order closed school facilities through June 30.
Crothersville officials have decided to conduct an outside drive-in-style graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020 at 7 p.m. May 22 near the student parking lot on the south side of the school along Preston Street.
Each graduate will be allotted two parking spaces. The first assigned spot will be somewhere in the front two rows closest to the tent and podium and will be for the participating graduate and their immediate family. They will be assigned an additional spot for a vehicle with occupants of the graduate’s discretion further back in the lot.
As some graduates decorate their caps, Principal Adam Robinson also encourages them to decorate the top of their vehicle.
The parking lot will open at 6:30 p.m. with “Pomp and Circumstance” playing. The ceremony will consist of a welcome and announcement, salutatorian address, valedictorian address, remarks and presentation of graduates, remarks and presentation of diplomas and transfer of tassels.
No one should honk their horns during the speeches, and graduates should not touch the podium when taking their diploma.
Everyone will remain in their vehicles except graduates when they go up one at a time to receive their diplomas. People in vehicles are encouraged to clap and honk when their graduate goes up to the podium. There will be no pictures allowed by friends and family at the ceremony, so personal pictures should be taken at home.
While this limits the number of in-person attendees, the ceremony will be broadcast via Facebook Live to give everyone an opportunity to see graduates receive their diplomas.
“Crothersville Community Schools pride ourselves on the ability to think outside the box,” Robinson said in a letter to parents and guardians of the graduates. “These are uncharted waters we are all navigating, and the restrictions given by our government leaders will be implemented and strictly enforced.”
With that said, officials have determined a way to still gather together as a community, school, class and family to celebrate the graduates.
“We know the importance of recognizing the accomplishments of the young men and women of the Class of 2020,” Robinson said. “They’ve worked their entire lives for this moment, and we will give them their chance to shine. We are incredibly excited and humbled to provide this experience to our seniors.”
After the graduation ceremony, there will be a parade of graduates through town. Police will provide an escort for graduates’ vehicles, giving the community members an opportunity to show support by waving at the graduates.
The route starts at the school and goes north on Preston Street to East Bard Street until reaching Armstrong Street or U.S. 31. The parade will continue until turning left on Moore Street and then turning left on Preston Street back to the school.