4 Ideas for Hosting High School Graduation during COVID-19
High School Graduation Ceremony Ideas during COVID-19 Social Distancing

After 13 years of hard work and perseverance, high school graduation is an important rite of passage. Students eagerly await their chance to walk across the stage to accept their diploma amidst a sea of peers, family members, and beloved school staff. Unfortunately, when graduation falls during a global pandemic, the traditional crowded ceremony is simply not an option.

School district officials realize the necessity of social distancing. You also recognize the importance of honoring the class of 2020. To help you decide on the best path forward, we’ve compiled four creative and coronavirus-compliant ideas for hosting this year’s high school graduation ceremony.


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Virtual High School Graduation Ceremony

A virtual graduation ceremony is one of the most straightforward ways to honor your seniors this year. With plenty of advance planning, your district can deliver a meaningful online event. Personalized touches will go a long way in making your ceremony feel special. Consider including pre-recorded speeches, entertainment, and a slideshow of the graduates. Also, take care to ensure that your virtual event is accessible to your entire school community. Click here for more detailed tips on planning and executing a seamless virtual graduation ceremony.


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Drive-In Graduation Ceremony

If your community has a local drive-in theater, it may be the perfect venue to hold a social-distancing-approved live ceremony. Students and their families will appreciate the opportunity to gather in-person to share this special milestone. The big screen will show a pre-recorded ceremony, while families remain within the safety of their vehicles. If you don’t have nearby access to a drive-in theater, you may be able to utilize a large parking lot or field and rent some high-quality projection equipment.


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Drive-Through Graduation Ceremony

One of the most iconic parts of graduation is the procession. Each graduate’s name is called to the boisterous applause of their family in the stands, as they proceed across the stage to accept their diploma. While a traditional procession isn’t possible during COVID-19, some districts plan to organize a procession of vehicles.

With this option, each graduating student will be driven to the school by their family. When in front of the stage, the student alone will leave the car and cross the stage to accept their diploma and perhaps pose for a socially distant photograph. Some schools plan to record each “mini graduation” and string them together to send families a full graduation video. Other schools plan to pass diplomas through the vehicle window – or mail them to avoid contact all together. When deciding on your plan of action, be sure your drive-through graduation complies with your state’s current social distancing mandates.


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Postpone Your Traditional Ceremony

While families will surely appreciate your determination to host a graduation ceremony despite the current circumstances, many high school seniors feel that “the real thing” is worth the wait. With this in mind, some school districts plan to postpone their traditional ceremonies until later in the summer, when they hope social distancing mandates will be relaxed.


We all feel for the class of 2020 during these difficult times. Hopefully, this article gives you some inspiration for creating a unique graduation experience for your deserving seniors.

For more valuable resources to help you navigate education during COVID-19, check out our other blog posts: