By Elizabeth F. McNamara

This was not the plan. This was never even close to the plan members of the EGHS Class of 2020 and their families had in mind for the culminating event of their high school career, their graduation. But, any February fantasies of June were washed away two months ago, with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

From that nothingness, however, now there is a plan. And while there’s some sadness about what might have been, there’s also gratitude for what will be. 

And it will be festive. In cars. The class wanted to be together and to be in a familiar place (i.e. not the Rustic Drive-In) so on Saturday, June 6, seniors and their families will gather in the front parking lot at East Greenwich High School, in a carefully orchestrated production complete with personal parking spaces and three screens, followed by car procession through the town to celebrate the graduates.

The plan has been vetted by school officials, Dept. of Health officials, the town manager’s office, police and fire. 

The basics are as follows. Students and their families (one car per student, but there are spaces for families with separate homes) will drive into the parking lot at staggered times the morning of the graduation. Each family has been assigned a parking space, where they will remain for the whole of the ceremony, facing three elevated LED screens. Speeches and performances will be pre-recorded and all the graduates will be featured in a slide show. 

After the ceremony, a car procession will proceed on a yet-to-be-determined route through town so we can all show them some EG love (we will make sure all our readers know the route so they can be part of this!). Then, either later that day or on Sunday, school administrators and officials will hand-deliver diplomas to each student at their home. Again, exact details have yet to be announced. 

So, it’s going to be different. As one senior said, “We’ve accepted it.” Here’s hoping there’s a heavy dose of Avenger magic too.

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