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Graduating Seniors At Kansas City, Kansas, High Schools To Get Their Diplomas At The Drive-In

The Boulevard Drive-In off I-35 will reopen June 1 to host six graduation ceremonies for the Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools.
Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools
The Boulevard Drive-In off I-35 will reopen June 1 to host six graduation ceremonies for the Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools.

Other metro districts are holding out hope that they can host traditional in-person commencements later this summer for the Class of 2020.

Metro area school districts are coming up with creative ways to honor the class of 2020 after COVID-19 canceled or postponed May commencements.

Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools seniors will graduate in a series of ceremonies over six nights at the Boulevard Drive-In off I-35 during the first week of June.

“It was something different, very unique, and it still made them feel very special, the idea of their name being up on the big screen,” KCKPS spokeswoman Sharita Hutton said.

Wyandotte County’s stay-at-home order is now set to lift May 10, but Hutton said KCKPS will observe strict social distancing protocols during commencement to protect students and their families.

The district plans to announce the order of when each high school’s commencement will be on Friday.

Read KCUR's FAQ: When And How Parts Of The Kansas City Metro Will Reopen

Meanwhile, other districts are planning virtual ceremonies.

North Kansas City students have started picking up their regalia. Seniors will be able to get “drive through” cap and gown photos taken at their schools the week they would’ve graduated. Photographers will be spaced at least six feet apart, with online commencement planned for late May.

Other districts are hopeful they’ll still be able to hold in-person graduation ceremonies later this summer.

Lee's Summit, Shawnee Mission and Olathe have all postponed commencement until late July, in the hopes that large public gatherings will be allowed by then.

“We feel it is very important to do everything in our power to recognize our seniors, especially given the devastating change to their final semester, which included losing prom, sports, activities and performances, student trips, and commencement in May,” Olathe Assistant Superintendent Jim McMullen said.

In an email, Lee's Summit spokeswoman Katy Bergan said the district's plans were contingent on social distancing measures being relaxed in the coming weeks and months, and seniors would be celebrated virtually if having graduation at the high school sports stadiums wasn't possible.

Elle Moxley covered education for KCUR.
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