Part of the Virtual Culture and Climate Series – Spring 2020

Ideas contributed by the Jostens Renaissance educator community and shared in a Facebook Live presentation on May 15, 2020.

This will be our last Graduation Friday episode, and next Monday will be our last Motivation Monday. The theme for Monday’s episode will be Mental Health.


How Schools Are Executing on Ceremonies

Puyallup High School in Washington – Renaissance Hall of Famer Jamie Mooring shared that Puyallup HS is having a pre-filmed virtual graduation. Students will come at an assigned time and visit three stations to be filmed turning their tassel, throwing their cap in the air, and doing their class yell. A compilation video will then be shared showing these moments for the entire class.

Monrovia High School in California – Fellow HOF’er Paul Dols is ready for a drive-through graduation on June 3rd. They’re moving a stage to center of campus and students can get out of the car and walk the stage, with a professional photographer taking a cap and gown photo. It will be very long day, with 360 graduates in groups of 50, but they’re excited to do something in person. Student leaders are focusing on a 1-year reunion with maybe dinner and prom next May or June.

Rancho Cucamonga High School in California did something similar, and here’s what it looks like.

Anville-Cleona High School in Pennsylvania is recording a drive-through ceremony and then the Pennsylvania Renaissance Fair will show a drive in movie of the ceremony, allowing 3 cars per graduate. They’re following up with plans to get together in the fall with a farewell senior picnic

Canyon Hills Junior High in California – HOF’er Valerie Vera-Mineer reports they are utilizing the day assigned to clean out lockers to have their 8th graders cross a portable stage in the parking lot for graduation.

Newberg Public Schools in Oregon – Mark Brown is involved in planning a drive-through ceremony with a stage in the parking lot, along with a parade through their town’s main street. They ordered an extra cap for all their seniors so that they can throw it out of their cars when they drive by with faculty lined up. Jenny Bernardini suggests having seniors decorate an extra cap, than collect them to make a mural for displaying in the school and featuring at some kind of fall gathering.

Fergus Falls High School in Minnesota – Their band director recorded himself playing every part of pomp and circumstance (22 parts on 13 instruments) for his school’s virtual graduation ceremony (see photo above).

Other Senior Celebration Ideas:

Senior Yearbook Sneak Peeks – We have heard of schools allowing seniors to have the first look at the yearbook and/or being the first group to receive them.

The Pascagoula School District had a senior awards ceremony with a presentation deck created and shown at local drive in with an announcer over the speakers.

Back at Puyallup, the leadership underclassmen held a Senior Parade where they wrote letters to the 18 seniors, made treats, decorated their cars and drove around for 4 hours visiting all the seniors’ homes.

Kingman Academy in Arizona – Eric Lillis is planning a sunset goodbye for seniors next week. Their tradition at their last rally is to leave through a tunnel of supportive staffulty, and they are planning to do a modified version of that by having a drive-in at the school, showing a tribute video with staffulty goodbyes, and having them drive through a tunnel of staffulty to leave.

San Mateo High School in California – HOF’er Sara Cowey told us they are having a parade for their 40 first generation high school graduates, so their proud families can celebrate with them. They are also making senior slideshows for graduation, and buying seniors small gifts with leftover prom money.

Aloha High School in Oregon (thanks to Erin) is hosting a “Books and Brunch” for seniors when they come to return their books. They will have a breakfast for them that adheres to social distancing standards.

Fort Dorchester High School in South Carolina posted a senior salute highlight reel. The long line of cars tells us how much it means to these students.

Thompson High School in Alabama – Brad Boy shared that they did yard signs on main loop of their school driveway and left them up for 20 days. Today is the 20th day and they get to come pick up their regalia, signs, and tote bags full of notes from teachers. There will be a photographer and DJ, and a decorated car in the winner circle. They also did a tribute video.

Guest Musical Performance

Thanks to Ben Limric, a senior at Puyallup High School in Washington, for a moving musical performance!


Next Week: Motivation Monday – 11:00 CST, Monday, May 18, with a focus on mental health.

Send your suggestions to [email protected] or [email protected].


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