Cross-town parade to be held Sunday, June 6
After weeks of uncertainty, Abington High Schools seniors finally know when and how they’ll be able to celebrate their achievements, receive their diplomas, and say goodbye.
A special cross-town parade is scheduled for Sunday, June 6, which was the original date for graduation. The Class of 2020 will instead receive their diplomas in person during a ceremony on August 7.
“We’re going to do the best we can to recognize them,” said Abington High School Principal Dr. Teresa Sullivan.
In-school classes and all extra spring extra curricula activities have been canceled since mid- March as part of precautions taken against the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s meant an abrupt and unfair end to the Class of 2020’s senior year, which was supposed to include a number of traditional end-of-year activities. Last week, Sullivan sent out a revised schedule of events, including awards nights and the new date for graduation.
“The spring of senior year is a lot about social connections, so it’s been pretty difficult missing all that,” she said. “Since we sent out the schedule, I think we’ve seen a little bit more excitement.”
A majority of the senior class events have been moved to the first week in August. However, on June 6, the day when the senior class should have been donning green and white gowns and crossing the graduation stage, they will instead take part in a motorcade parade across town starting at 10 a.m.
The parade replaces the traditional senior class parade where the seniors, on their final day of classes, decorate their cars, drive in front of the school building, and wave goodbye to teachers and administrators. The exact route is still being plotted, said Sullivan.
“We’re working with the police department to do a parade route that includes their former schools,” she said.
Although students typically work together to decorate their cars, and even ride with each other, Sullivan is hoping seniors will keep social distancing practices in mind.
“They’ll decorate them at home with their families and maybe their families will come with them,” she said.”We’re counting on them to do the right thing.”
Other senior week activities have been rescheduled for the first week in August, provided that social distancing guidelines have been relaxed by then.
- Monday, Aug. 3 – Music Awards Evening, 6 p.m., AHS Cafeteria
- Tuesday, Aug. 4 – Graduation Rehearsal, 10 a.m., AHS Auditorium; Senior Send-Off Dinner/Yearbook Distribution, 6:30 p.m., AHS Cafeteria
- Wednesday, Aug. 5 – Athletic Awards Evening Cookout, 6 p.m., AHS
- Thursday, Aug. 6 – Graduation Rehearsal, 10 a.m., AHS Auditorium
- Friday, Aug. 7 – Class of 2020 Graduation, 7 p.m., AHS Auditorium
“My class and I are very grateful with the schedule Dr. Sullivan has put together,” said Senior Class President Daisy Littlefield. “The other class officers and I want to ensure that the senior class gets the recognition they deserve for making it to this pivotal moment in their lives and hopefully we can through the future scheduled senior events.”
If social distancing practices aren’t relaxed by Aug. 7, graduation won’t be rescheduled, said Sullivan. Instead, school officials will determine an alternative way to hand out diplomas to the seniors.
Abington High School administrators are also finalizing a plan to include seniors who will be enlisting in the military or attending college orientation and unable to attend the Aug. 7 ceremony.
“The amazing senior class advisors, Sue Peck and Seanna O’Donnell, are working with Dr. Sullivan to ensure that we are able to celebrate the students that are leaving earlier than the projected graduation date for college or the military.”