North Smithfield High School announces 2020 graduation plans

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NORTH SMITHFIELD – The North Smithfield School District has announced a unique plan for the high school’s 2020 commencement services that will allow students to gather to celebrate the landmark while maintaining the state’s distancing mandates.

Supt. Michael St. Jean announced on Monday, May 4 that 2020 graduates will meet for a drive-in style ceremony on the high school athletic fields. Students will have assigned parking, with a ten-foot distance between vehicles, and will be asked to stay inside their cars.

The idea, discussed by High School Principal Timothy McGee during a virtual meeting of the School Committee in April, came from discussions between the school leader and students in the senior class. With gatherings of large crowds banned across the state in hopes to curb the spread of Covid-19, school officials had discussed alternative approaches to recognize this year’s crop of seniors, from a gathering at Rustic Drive-In, to a service that would see diplomas dropped from the sky.

The district settled on a plan this week for a ceremony that will take place on Friday, June 5.

Spaces will be marked on the baseball and adjacent field in a grid pattern and designated for one car per student and family. Separate parking will also be made for teachers, school committee members, town council members and other invited guests.

The ceremony will be broadcast from a 40-foot projector and radio system so guests can listen from inside their vehicles.

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