This Sunday would have been graduation for Roland-Story’s Class of 2020. The pandemic changed those plans, however, and now commencement is scheduled for June 28.
But there’s still an opportunity to recognize this year’s graduating class this Friday evening. And the whole community is invited to participate — from a safe distance.
“We would like the community to help us recognize the Roland-Story Class of 2020,” said Kathy Halleland, whose son Seth is one of the seniors.
The seniors will be lined up on the sidewalks by Roland-Story High School on Friday, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
The kids will be decked out in their caps and gowns. Each will be standing by a sign displaying their name and will be standing at least 6 feet apart from classmates.
“We want this to feel like something special for the kids,” Halleland said. “They have missed so many special things during the second semester of their senior year. I’ve just been sick to think about it.”
People in the community are asked to cruise by in their cars and offer congratulations to the students.
The route will be: enter on Grove Street then follow around on Story Street. Then take a right on State Avenue, exiting on Eighth Street.
If it’s a rainy day, this event will be rescheduled.
“We are looking for some special ways to give these kids some closure,” Halleland said.
There are so many things that have been cancelled, postponed or handled in a virtual manner: the trip to Peru, state jazz band, large group contest, awards night, Prom, sports seasons, the parade through school in caps and gowns as underclassmen and faculty applaud.
“There are a ton of special, special things that aren’t happening,” Halleland said. “And even the simple fact that they’re not getting together with friends — that’s tough.
“All those things they worked so hard for and all those things they looked forward to, they’re just kind of getting ripped off by this pandemic.”
The Friday night parade won’t solve everything, but it will help.