It will be a break from the norm, but the more than 300 Halifax County High School Class of 2020 graduates are set to participate in a “Comets in Cars” commencement exercise on Saturday at the high school starting at 9 a.m.
The drive-thru graduation will be live streamed on 95.3 WHLF, Facebook and cable television.
Due to following the Centers for Disease Control guidelines, Halifax County High School principal Michael Lewis said crowds would not be allowed to gather at the school.
He said attendance is being limited to graduates, their parents and whomever they can fit in their vehicle.
Only students are allowed to exit the vehicle, said Lewis.
Students are to remain in their vehicles until their name is called, he added.
Participants and their families are asked to park in the Halifax County Middle School parking lot and use the access road to drive to the high school.
Lewis ask graduates and parents to refer to their individual student’s information packet on his or her scheduled arrival time.
“We just want to keep safety in mind and make sure we have a positive graduation. We hope to have a great celebration for our 2020 graduates. We have a good plan in place, and we just want to take the time to recognize the accomplishments of the Class of 2020,” said Lewis.
Following the welcome led by Ashya Nicole Barksdale, class president and granddaughter of Darlene C. Davis, Kendall Foushee is slated to sing the national anthem. Foushee is the daughter of Kerry and April Foushee.
Maci Lee Henderson, National Honor Society president, is expected to lead the pledge of allegiance. Henderson is the daughter of Michelle Oakes.
Superintendent Dr. Mark Lineburg is slated to recognize students who have earned the Associate of Arts and Science Degree.
Nicholas Gordon Holland, son of Robert R. Holland and Nancy B. Holland, Cassie Lee Snead, daughter of Janet Guill-Dunn, and Anna Marie Lewis, daughter of Odie and Carolyn Lewis, are expected to give a commencement address.
Lewis is set to recognize the top 10 seniors, and Lineburg is expected to lead the presentation of diplomas along with Halifax County Public School Board chairman Todd Moser and vice chairman Sandra K. Garner-Coleman.
Participants also are asked to remain in their vehicles during the recessional at the end of graduation.
The Virginia Department of Health also recently released these guidelines for high school gradations that have been approved by the governor’s counsel:
• Executive Order 61 maintains a prohibition on gatherings of more than 10 people. Therefore, in-person gatherings of more than 10 people, including graduation ceremonies, are not allowed at this time, in Phase 1.
• For drive-up ceremonies, families must remain in their car.
• Cars must be parked 6 feet apart from each other (e.g. every other parking space), and the number of cars allowed to attend at any given time should be limited to a reasonable size, such as 50.
• If it is anticipated that individuals can’t/won’t remain in their cars, this method should not be used.
• If presenters are on a shared stage/platform, they should maintain physical distancing and wear face coverings. Students should be encouraged to wear face coverings as well.
• Hand sanitizer should be readily available for staff handing out diplomas and breaks staggered to allow for hand washing.