A pervading sense of disappointment surrounds the class of 2020 as milestone events are canceled due to COVID-19. High school seniors are missing out on graduation, prom, senior trips, sporting events, plays, concerts, and more. This is not the ideal way to say goodbye to such a formative chapter of life. As a result, many school districts seek creative ways to pay tribute to their graduating seniors. Here are six socially distant ideas that will surely make your graduates feel special.
Senior Stoop Photos
If you’ve been on social media lately, you likely noticed the coronavirus trend of drive-by photoshoots of families on their front porch. Why not apply this clever concept to your graduating class?
Hire a photographer to drive around town to snap shots of each senior wearing their cap and gown, their favorite school-branded gear, or the prom attire they never had a chance to wear! Students can get creative and decorate their stoop for the occasion.
Stoop photos will make for a fun memory of this unusual time. Additionally, you can consider using the photos on your district’s social media pages or as part of a virtual graduation ceremony.
Graduate Yard Signs
Some school districts are taking the decorating into their own hands by creating personalized yard signs for their graduating seniors. In some cases, district staff members are driving around the neighborhood to place the congratulatory signs on students’ front lawns. In other cases, schools are prominently displaying the signs along school grounds or surrounding roadways. Either way, a thoughtful gesture like this will assure your students that they haven’t been forgotten!
Faculty Car Parade
In this time of distance education, many students miss their inspiring teachers – just as teachers miss their cherished students! To honor this special relationship, many schools are organizing a teacher car parade. With the assistance of a local police department escort, processions of teachers are driving through the neighborhood with decorated vehicles, waving and calling out to students as they pass by.
To pull off a successful car parade, be sure to map out a route in advance, and communicate the date and time to students so they can be outside cheering you on!
Alternate Graduation Ceremony
Just because the traditional graduation ceremony isn’t possible this year doesn’t mean there are no options to commemorate this momentous occasion. For example, your district can consider hosting a virtual or drive-in commencement. Alternatively, you can postpone your traditional ceremony until later in the summer when social distancing restrictions may be less strict. Your seniors and their families will appreciate any effort you make to help them experience this milestone.
Congratulatory Video Montage
With alternative graduation ceremonies coming into play, many teachers, coaches, and administrators will not get a chance to congratulate and say their goodbyes to graduating seniors. Luckily, there’s still a way for school staff to deliver their messages to the class of 2020.
Simply ask your school staff to send in video messages to congratulate the seniors on their accomplishments. They can include photos or talk about their favorite memories from the past four years. Then you can string together all of the messages and photos to create one special video montage to share with the entire class – or premiere at your virtual graduation ceremony. Your seniors will be grateful to have such a touching memory to look back on.
Furthermore, this video approach doesn’t have to be single-sided. Just as teachers want to congratulate their students, students are anxious to say goodbye to their beloved teachers. A student video montage is another poignant way to honor this unforgettable bond.
Social Media Spotlight
If your district has social media pages, consider using them to spotlight your seniors. Share their senior portraits (or senior stoop photos!) along with some of their accomplishments or plans for the future. Alternatively, you can share candid photos of the class from various events and occasions throughout their high school career. Whichever approach you take, social media is a great tool for garnering community support for the class of 2020.
We hope these social distancing-compliant ideas are helpful to your school district as you decide on meaningful ways to celebrate your graduates this year.
For more ideas on how to celebrate your graduating seniors, check out our other blog articles: 4 Ideas for Hosting High School Graduation during COVID-19 and 8 Tips for Hosting a Virtual Graduation Ceremony during COVID-19.