Warwick Schools holding ‘Graduation by Appointment’ to honor class of 2020

WARWICK, R.I. (WLNE) — The Warwick School District has come up with a creative way to make graduation seem more normal this year.

Graduating seniors will still be able to walk across the stage in their caps and gowns to receive their diplomas, thanks to the idea they’re calling, ‘Graduation by Appointment.’

“While it doesn’t replace the actual event, it does give them sort of a tangible part of the ceremony,” said Philip Thornton, Superintendent of Warwick Schools.

Throughout the final few weeks of school, seniors will schedule a specific time slot where they can walk down the aisle of their school’s gymnasium dressed in their caps and gowns, and walk across the stage to receive their diplomas.

A limited number of school officials will be on hand to call their names and take a video of them walking across the stage.

Then on graduation day, the schools will play each senior’s video along with pre-recorded speeches from the principal, superintendent, valedictorian, and salutatorian, making it feel like somewhat of traditional graduation.

“I think it’s better than nothing,” said Alex Higgins, a senior at Pilgrim High School. “It’s better than getting your diploma in the mail and then calling it a day.”

Graduation appointments will also include a designated photo area for seniors and their families.

“We invest a lot of time, energy, and love in these kids and this isn’t just closure for them, it’s closure for us too,” said Candace Caluori, the principal of Toll Gate High School.

Caluori says she is working to have each graduate’s picture printed out and posted in the parking lot, so when students drive up for their graduation appointments they can see all of their classmates.

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Rhode Island, Warwick