Individual Graduation Ceremony Information
Lancaster High School Seniors and families, we are excited to provide each graduate with an individual graduation ceremony. Many of you have expressed to us what saddened you most by the traditional Kleinhans event being cancelled was the loss of the diploma presentation during the stage walk. We have put a plan in place to give each family this experience with additions the Kleinhans venue would not allow. As you know, Lancaster has by far the largest graduating class in Erie County and this event will take over a week to complete. Below is important information about what will be offered to seniors, how we intend to keep students, families, faculty, and staff safe and how we will rely on families to help make this incredible undertaking special for all graduates.
Directions for Cap and Gown/Locker Pick up
- On Tuesday June 2nd and Wednesday June 3rd, between the hours of 9 and 2:30, graduates will be able to pick up their cap and gown as well as a bag full of their locker contents. No students will be allowed to access the building.
- Graduates or their families will pull up to the front of the building and a staff member will take their name. They will radio inside and their cap, gown, and locker contents will be brought to their car. This pick up will take place in the front of the building from the cafeteria doors.
- Students will also be able to drop off items such as textbooks, library books, calculators, instruments, uniforms, athletic equipment, etc. Please make sure all items are clearly marked with your name so that we can credit you for its return.
Directions for Sign-Up
- Each of our nearly 500 students will receive a link through their school email by the end of the week that will allow them to sign up for their time slot. The email will be coming from SignUpGenius.
- Each family will have several choices as to when they would like to take part.
- There will be a limit of six graduates per 30 minute period. There will be limited options for rescheduling so please make sure the time is convenient for you and your family.
- Multiple time slots will be available for each hour.
- You may be at LHS for the full half hour, please dedicate enough time.
- We are relying on all families to adhere to times and the protocols so other families are not delayed and can enjoy their individual ceremony.
Directions for Arrival
- Please enter the campus at the South Lot and give your name to the faculty member in the lot. The Lancaster Police will be present to help direct traffic.
- Please do not congregate on Lancaster roads or arrive before your scheduled time.
- Each graduate may bring four cars and they should enter together and park together
- This will allow for far more people to be present for each student’s walk than is possible at Kleinhans.
- Please do not exit your vehicle
- Please make sure that people in each of the cars know that they must stay in their vehicles.
- When it is your turn your cars will be directed to the front of the building.
- You may be called at any time during your designated half hour.
- Graduates will be directed to exit the vehicle. Social Distancing will be enforced but graduates are welcome to wear a mask.
- In order to make sure that all students have the opportunity to take part in their individual graduation, all others must stay in the car to ensure that we are not delayed by people having to re-enter vehicles.
- Graduates will be filmed walking across a stage that will be set in the front of Lancaster High School. Each student clip will be embedded in the virtual ceremony.
- The video will be available through a link on the website and will be available for families to record when it is streamed on WUTV on June, 26, 2020 at 7 PM.
- Each student will have their name read over the loudspeaker with Pomp and Circumstance playing in the background.
- Students will receive their diploma jacket via a no-contact protocol. A staff member will tent the jacket on a separate table for students to grab.This is to keep our graduates and staff as safe as possible.
- Students will then proceed to a tented area in which they may have their picture taken, by a professional photographer, with a member of the LHS’s administration.
- Students will be given access to their photograph.
- The picture will include the student and the administrator on either side of a banner. This will allow for social distancing.
- Students will then move to a station where they will be presented with a senior gift.
- This has been made possible by the generosity of the community and is to honor the sacrifices that the Class of 2020 has made during this global health crisis.
- Families should remain in the cars and are encouraged to roll their windows down and take additional pictures from your car. The passenger side of the car will face the graduates.
- This is a unique opportunity for the Class of 2020; at Kleinhans families are not able to get this close to seeing their student graduate.
- Remember that you will have the opportunity to view and record the entire ceremony on the link provided by the school and during the telecast on WUTV on June 26, 2020 at 7:00.
- You will also receive a professional photograph.
- We anticipate that each graduate will take approximately 5 minutes from the time they exit their car to the time that they finish processing through all the stations. This does not sound like a great deal of time but is far longer than they are on stage at Kleinhans.
- On June 26, 2020, at 7:00, WUTV will broadcast our virtual graduation. This will be a near replica of what other students experience at Kleinhans.
- Student music groups have created virtual performances.
- The Superintendent, Valedictorian, Salutatorian, and Senior Class Representatives will be speaking
- The videos of each student walking the stage with their name being announced will be shown.
- The graduation, as always, will culminate with the singing of the Alma Mater by members of the Lancaster School District faculty.
- Families will receive commemorative programs for the event.
Lancaster High School
One Forton Drive Phone: 716 686-3255
Lancaster, NY 14086
Greetings LHS Seniors and families,
I hope this letter finds your family well. Please know that we understand that this whole situation has been even more difficult to handle for you as we come to the close of your Lancaster High School experience. The class of 2020 is an incredible group of young ladies and gentlemen. Your patience and maturity has been exemplary during a time when, through no fault of your own, so many anticipated and cherished events have been taken away from you. Graduation from high school is a major event in almost everyone’s life and you have certainly earned the right to have yours. It pains us that we are unable to rectify this, but as you know there is a lot that is out of our control as we balance health and safety. However, we have been working the last month to do whatever we can within those parameters. It has been our team’s goal to make your send off powerful and memorable.
Planning for graduation has not been easy. We have encountered many obstacles to ideas along the way. Our planning committee has been meeting regularly to explore all possible options to make this graduation ceremony special and meaningful, including meeting with senior student leaders. I want to thank all of these groups for their efforts. We received bids from multiple companies looking to help us facilitate your experience and we still are weighing the decision. Our plan includes a time for every senior to walk across a stage, graciously provided by the Village of Lancaster, set up in the front of Lancaster High School. At a prearranged time, seniors and their families will pull their car up to receive their diploma and get their picture taken with a representative of the administration. There will be multiple time slots opened the first two weeks of June in order to provide flexibility for families. Soon the process will be released for you to sign up for your time slot. We are in the process of securing an audio-visual company to have them record that special moment for every student. All of these individual videoclips will be incorporated into the virtual graduation ceremony that will be shared on Friday, June 26th at 7:00 pm.
A plan is being created to distribute caps and gowns in late May in time for the graduation filming. Please watch for further updates and communication.
Our virtual ceremony will include many of the traditional components such as the valedictorian, salutatorian, and superintendent speeches along with music selections from the LHS Symphonic Band and LHS Choirs. The virtual graduation link will become live on the evening of June 26th.
Finally, at 9:00 on the evening of graduation we would ask every graduate across our community to toss their caps while the community expresses their congratulations by honking their horns and making noise.
Much more detailed information will be coming in the month of May. Between now and then we will be monitoring the Erie County Health Department guidelines to ensure that we are doing everything we can to make our graduation activities safe for all participants. If you would prefer not to come to the school in early June, for any reason, we would be happy to work with you to create another arrangement. If that is the case, please reach out to my secretary as soon as possible at email@example.com. You will be contacted with an alternative plan in the coming weeks. We want all of our seniors to know that we miss you and you are in our thoughts.
Looking forward to seeing you in your cap and gown at Lancaster High School.