Portsmouth Christian Academy (PCA) has announced plans to hold graduation for the class of 2020 in person at a “drive-in, walk-through” graduation ceremony on the school’s 50-acre campus in Dover.
Like schools around the nation, PCA is adjusting end-of-year plans and celebrations in response to social distancing guidelines. Many of PCA’s annual end-of-year celebrations will be held online through Microsoft Teams or Zoom. Graduation, however, will be held in-person.
This decision was made with students in mind, taking senior input into consideration as plans were developed. Upper School Principal Steve Foley says, “In talking with seniors this year, two things emerged as priorities for them: getting back on campus and seeing their teachers. I’m thankful that we’ve been able to come up with a plan that allows both while adhering to COVID-19 safety protocols.”
“We’ve been grateful to work alongside the NH DOE and the City of Dover to receive guidance and coordinate the details of the event to meet community safety guidelines,” says Head of School Mike Runey. “Families will be viewing from their cars, we’re limiting the number of people on campus, we’re keeping 6-feet away from each other, and when we award diplomas, we will be wearing masks. But we’ll be together safely and responsibly, and we know that is important to both our graduates and their families.”
The graduation ceremony will take place in front of the Upper School buildings on PCA’s campus. Situated on a hill, this area faces a long parking lot where parents of graduates will watch from their cars as a commencement address is given. Graduates will be individually recognized as diplomas are presented. After receiving diplomas, graduates will walk a path lined with their teachers, standing at 6-feet distance, who will share words of encouragement and congratulations to graduates.
“Though the seniors would no doubt love to have our traditional commencement experience, overall, they’re excited to see the campus and their teachers before beginning the next exciting phase of their lives.” Foley says.
“Many of this years’ graduating seniors have been going to school together since preschool.” Runey says, “This class is tight-knit, like a family. We’re humbled to have the opportunity to gather together to bless the graduates and their families as we send them off to the next chapter of their lives to impact the world for good.”
For the safety of the community, extended family members and friends are asked to stay home and tune in to live stream footage of the ceremony.
This is the link to the live stream on Youtube. The link will go live at 4:50 PM on June 12 and the ceremony will begin at 5:00 PM.