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Newswire – June 2, 2020


COVID 19 MEANT GRADUATIONS WITH NO POMP BUT LOTS OF CIRCUMSTANCES.  This is a very different Newswire, but these are very different times. Anyone worried about the ingenuity of the upcoming generation need look no further than the joyous graduation celebrations that are taking place — looking nothing like what we’ve seen in the past. Most of the “pomp” associated with graduations could not take place, but schools and graduates made sure that the “circumstances” were memorable nonetheless. Get ready to smile as we run down — in no particular order — just a few for you.

SENIORS AT SOMERSET ISLAND PREP, in Florida, graduated in style—on jet skis! Thanks to a local business that allowed the students to use their jet skis to help celebrate this milestone, the students received lessons prior to their big day and then jet skied in front of Key West’s Southernmost House wearing their gowns and masks—where the principal stood on the dock to hand out their diplomas.

STUDENTS AT CAROLINA INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL in North Carolina participated in a drive-thru graduation ceremony. Staying close to tradition, the students listened to speeches from the valedictorian, salutatorian, and keynote speaker—while also following social distancing guidelines. The high school seniors then hopped out of vehicles and joined a line one at a time to receive their diplomas. Each graduate received a handmade mask to celebrate this moment.

THE LARGEST CLASS TO EVER GRADUATE FROM Southwest Leadership Academy in Phoenix will always remember their “drive-through” graduation ceremony as the craziest but probably the most fun. Thanks to the creativity and hard work of the school staff, teachers and administrators students still celebrated their achievement with a parade of cars, food, pictures and lots of whooping and hollering. The school still intends to have a prom this fall and formal graduation in August.

THE SECOND CLASS OF SENIORS WILL GRADUATE FROM Oregon Trail Academy, but unlike their predecessors they will not get a ceremony at the iconic Timberline Lodge.  Students will participate in a drive-thru ceremony in the afternoon and watch the pre-recorded portion in the evening. The virtual celebration will include speeches from the valedictorian, salutatorian, and commencement speaker. It will also include words of wisdom from the graduates and photos. Kudos to the school and seniors for their creativity and determination to celebrate a new chapter!

NEWARK CHARTER SCHOOL in Delaware held a drive-thru graduation for their high school seniors. Parents and students drove through the parking lot to celebrate this milestone. Each senior had the opportunity to exit the car one at a time to receive their diploma. Families later received a recording of the school’s commencement speeches.

THE LAND OF ENCHANTMENT is blessed with incredible physical beauty and the Mission Achievement and Success charter schools, one of only 13% of schools in the state to consistently receive an A rating.  Faculty, parents, and of course students were sad that they could not have graduation ceremonies on the regular scheduled date, but the schools have big plans to make it up to them with a celebration that the grads will not forget. 100% of the graduating class has been accepted to college or the armed forces. You can get a glimpse of the grads in this video.

RENAISSANCE ACADEMY IN PENNSYLVANIA is helping their high school seniors show off their accomplishments! The school gave their students yard signs to keep spirits high and celebrate graduation. Members of the school’s board of trustees went door-to-door delivering the signs. Many students are showing their appreciation and enthusiasm on social media—using the hashtag #RASeniorsStrong.

SUCCESS IS MORE THAN A MOTTO AT THE SUCCESS ACADEMY. We’re not sure of the graduation plans for the Success Academy of Liberal Arts in Manhattan, but we are sure of the cracker jack job the school does educating its students. Every senior at Success –  one of the city’s largest charter school networks serving 17,000 students in 45 schools —  has been accepted to a college this year. Eagle-eyed readers will note that this achievement is not a stranger to charter schools. And by the way,  the senior class notched an average SAT score of 1268 en route to their college acceptances — nearly 200 points higher than the national average.  Someone please tell us again why charter schools are bad for kids.

DID WE MISS YOUR UNIQUE GRADUATION? We know we’ve barely scratched the surface with the items above.   The country needs good news now more than ever — and you can help us spread it. Send us information and photos to info@edreform.com ( or bill@edreform.com )  so we can include it in next week’s Newswire. In the meantime, stay safe, take comfort from your family, and as our British cousins say, keep calm and carry on!

Founded in 1993, the Center for Education Reform aims to expand educational opportunities that lead to improved economic outcomes for all Americans — particularly our youth — ensuring that conditions are ripe for innovation, freedom and flexibility throughout U.S. education. We’re always delighted to hear from our readers…suggestions, questions and even the occasional complaint!