Parking lot at RCHS

Provided

The RCHS parking lot will be the scene of Saturday’s 2020 drive-up graduation ceremony. Prior to the school year, several seniors paid to paint their parking spots at the lot.

RENSSELAER — Rensselaer Central has released specifics on this Saturday’s 2020 drive-up graduation ceremony at the high school parking lot.

Called an individual graduation ceremony, Rensselaer Central High School principal AJ Jones said the event won’t be a “fast food, drive-thru” one.

“Our goal remains to provide our graduates a time to celebrate the completion of 12 years of education and a memory that will last a lifetime,” Jones said in a letter to the parents. “While we realize this is not what we were hoping for, I can tell you (high school teachers/advisors) Mrs. (Jan) Benner, Mrs. (Kelly) Spurgeon and the RCHS administration have spent a lot of time planning this ceremony to make it special for each graduate and their family.”

School officials switched from a quasi-traditional ceremony on the football field to an individual ceremony after Gov. Eric Holcomb put Stage 5 of his plan to reopen Indiana on pause. Stage 5 would have allowed for groups of people greater than 250, but Stage 4.5, as Holcomb calls it, keeps that number at 250 until mid-July.

The RCHS 2020 ceremony was expected to draw as many as 400 family members. With over 100 graduates that would mean 500 people would have been on the field at one time.

RCSC superintendent Curtis Craig said last week that two separate ceremonies could be held, but that requires the school to supply two separate entrances and bathroom facilities. The ceremony could also be held two separate days, but due to time constraints, officials believed a drive-up graduation would be the best option.

Each of the 115-plus graduates will get the opportunity to walk the red carpet, hear their name announced and walk across the graduation stage to receive their diploma, Jones said. Time will be allotted for family members to take photos of their graduate and a professional photographer will be on hand to get s snapshot of graduates receiving their diploma from Jones and Craig.