Rockwood announces chosen alternatives to graduation for Class of 2020


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Due to the ongoing spread of COVID-19, Rockwood School District has created alternate plans for memorable events like prom and graduation. On May 21, LHS will host a Senior Salute parade and on June 4, LHS will host a graduation ceremony at POWERplex STL.

Morgan Vehige, Sports Editor

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the nation and shutting down districts, schools everywhere are looking to replace memorable events such as prom and graduation for the Class of 2020.

In his latest two videos to the Rockwood School District (RSD), Superintendent Mark Miles discussed plans for prom, the Senior Salute parade and graduation.

While the District held off on the decision for as long as they could, the annual Prom for all high schools will not be held this year due to the St. Louis County stay-at-home order, social distancing guidelines and the ongoing threat of COVID-19.

In honor of the Class of 2020, Lafayette will still be hosting a Senior Salute Parade to celebrate on their original graduation date of May 21 at 6 p.m. Senior families are invited to drive their Senior through the parade route on the Lafayette parking lot. Lafayette staff will be present to help celebrate the graduates.

Parents and guardians should plan on driving their seniors. Also, for the senior’s name to be announced while going through the parking lot route, they will need to tape a paper with the senior’s name on it in the top right corner of the windshield.

A few members of the Lafayette Image staff will also be on the route in order to hand out the annual senior magazine that is typically handed out at graduation practice.

RSD also announced the revised graduation plans for the Class of 2020. Along with the parade on their original graduate date, there will be a ceremony held at POWERplex STL which is located at 5555 St. Louis Mills Blvd., Hazelwood, MO 63042.

The event will provide proper social distancing for all and an actual graduation ceremony for the graduating class and their families.

“Rockwood is pleased to be one of the first school districts participating. This eliminates the risk of postponing indoor graduation ceremonies until June or July, and then not being able to hold them at all,” Miles said.

The event will work like something akin to a drive-in theater. During the graduation ceremony, students will walk across the stage to receive their diploma while maintaining social distancing guidelines.

Parents and other family members will be able to watch the ceremony from their vehicles on two 30 feet Jumbotrons in the front and even two 16 feet screens on the sides of the parking field. Broadcast-quality cameras will be used to record the event, projecting high definition LED boards that are elevated and visible from anywhere on the parking lot. They will be able to hear the ceremony through the FM transmitter on each car radio.

If there are family members unable to attend the ceremony because of health concerns or otherwise, the event will be recorded live through an online video portal for a $10 fee. Rockwood will be giving out this link to each family in advance of the ceremony. The graduation will also be available at the same link for on-demand viewing at a later time.

No one is permitted to leave their car unless it is to use the restroom. Pictures will be taken by professional photographers and be available to all graduates sometime after the ceremony.

It is recommended that the seniors arrive with their families or be dropped off at the ceremony as the students will only have a set number of vehicle passes assigned to them. Larger vehicles are allowed but will be placed on the perimeter of the parking lot. The lot will open at 5 p.m, and there will be no reserved spaces.

Seniors can pick up their graduation parking passes from the Lafayette Welcome Center on Friday, May 29. Seniors with the last names A-M are asked to come from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m and seniors with last names N-Z are asked to pick them up from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. They can also pick up personal items from their lockers at those times as well.

Lafayette’s date for the ceremony will be on Thursday, June 4 at 7 p.m. Graduating students need to arrive at 5:30 p.m in order to receive their mask and information and how to stay socially distant and follow all health and safety guidelines throughout the ceremony.

Seniors can also find all of this information in an email sent to their Rockwood email address.