FROM SOUTH PASADENA HIGH SCHOOL: (Stay tuned for updates on details)
Principal Janet Anderson:
Dear Seniors and Senior Families:
Drumroll, please! This is some information that will make you happy. I did promise that if rules from the Health Department changed, I would immediately inform you. Well, this afternoon, the Los Angeles County Supervisors released a document relaxing restrictions on drive-through graduations. We will be going back to Plan A and holding a ceremony in our parking lot.
As a result, this is how SPHS graduation festivities will be designed:
From June 1-4, the stately sign that is usually on the back of the graduation platform will be installed on the auditorium steps. This will be an opportunity for families to stage graduation photos with students in caps and gowns or an outfit of your choice.
When planning your visit to school for your family’s photo op, do not plan to couple it with the drive-through graduation. There will be no allowance for getting in and out of cars. June 2 will be the day the freshman through junior classes will be dropping off their materials in the parking lot, so the only way to enter for a photo on that day will be from Diamond Avenue.
Masks and social distancing MUST BE PRACTICED on the honor system. Maintain six feet or more between graduates and families while waiting for your photo op. Masks may only be removed for the photo itself.
It is up to your discretion, but to have a special keepsake photo in cap and gown, from previous experience I suggest:
- Students wear full-length pants the color of the gown they chose
- If students choose dresses, the dress hem should not be longer than the gown itself, and should be light enough in color and non-patterned so it does not detract from the gown (particularly a white gown)
- Ties and white shirts make for a very dignified look
- The mortar board (graduation hat) is worn parallel to the ground, not on the back of the head
- Gowns should be zipped
- Shoes and socks should not be the focus but rather blend as well as possible
June 2, 7:00 p.m. — We will release the Senior Awards Night virtual ceremony video. The link will be sent later. This is a must-see event!
June 3, 6:00 p.m. — GRADUATION DAY!
Our ceremony will be a drive-through with cars arriving from the west (the Diamond Avenue side of the campus) to Lyndon Street and entering the parking lot through the Lyndon gate. There will be no spectators or parking in the school lot. Families (per Los Angeles County guidelines, they must be people of the same household) will be allowed one fully enclosed vehicle, and everyone over two years old in that car must wear a mask. Again, there will be no exiting the cars. You will drive forward, leaving distance between cars, and make the left turn to head toward Fremont. Before you exit, you will have your special time to receive your symbolic diploma cover*. This will be exciting for all of us!
Please wear your cap and gown if you have one, and have your name clearly written in large letters in black on signs attached to both the driver’s door and the front passenger door so we can read them from a distance, identify the graduate behind the mask and honor you.
If possible, the graduate should be in the front passenger seat. In the case of twins, each senior twin should be on the passenger side next to the window.
You will turn right out of the parking lot in order to keep the flow going.
In order to give you time to get home, the virtual part of the ceremony will follow the drive-through and can be viewed at or after 8:00 on YouTube. The link will be sent later. The video will include Baccalaureate inspirational speeches and a performance, Graduation speeches, the conferring of diplomas, and many photos representing the SPHS Class of 2020!
June 4, 11:00-12:30 — This is your final drive through the parking lot to pick up your diploma, pick up other gifts and memorabilia and awards, and to drop off books and supplies and borrowed caps and gowns that you didn’t have a chance to drop off on Thursday, May 21. (*Traditionally, we do not give the diploma during the ceremony, as we want to ensure that you get your own diploma)
We feel that this can be accomplished without dividing you up by alphabet. Please just don’t wait until it is nearly 12:30 to arrive, as we must serve you all between 11:00-12:30.
We will follow the same drive-through plan as May 21 when you picked up your cap and gown. Again, we will need you to have your name sign and masks for everyone in the car. You will enter on Fremont, drop things off along the school-side curb and, this time, you will drive straight toward the Lyndon gate but stop at our tent to receive your special bag along with our love and congratulations.