It may not be the type of commencement people are used to, but New Century Academy 2020 graduates will be recognized during a “drive-in” graduation ceremony.
New Century Academy Director Jason Becker has seen his students work hard these past few months as the COVID-19 pandemic has kept families at home and kids learning while distanced from the classroom.
During isolation, students are dealing with their own mental health issues, and those of family members.
“Some have physical illness in the home and are taking care of people,” Becker said. “Older kids are taking care of younger siblings while parents are working. And we have some kids working while the parent is laid off, and they are the one income in the house.”
With NCA’s doors closed, students have also missed out on clubs, sports and the day-to-day social interactions that, for seniors, are now memories as they step into a new stage of life. But come 7 p.m., Friday, May 29, NCA staff will offer seniors the closest thing to normalcy they can at their graduation ceremony.
The school will have a “drive-in” style ceremony in its parking lot at 950 School Road S.W. Students and their families will be directed to what spot to park in as they arrive. One parking spot will be allowed per family, with a parking spot between each vehicle. Windows can be rolled down.
The ceremony will also be streamed live on Google Meet, and students will be provided with a code closer to the date. It can be shared with up to 10 family members for each student, allowing digital guests to watch.
Students will be called up to the stage one at a time to receive their diploma. A photographer will be on hand to take photos at no cost.
“Graduation is a rite of passage that is very important,” Becker said in a letter to students. “That being said, it is crucial that you understand that plans may need to be adjusted accordingly, contingent to the governor’s orders. The safety of our students, staff and community members is and must always be at the forefront of our planning and decisions.”