Class of 2020 Commencement Plan

Class of 2020 Commencement Plan

Based on student feedback and per the approval of the Village of Rhinebeck and the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health, we will celebrate the Class of 2020 with a socially-distant, in-person ceremony!  Details are below, and first, health and safety requirements from the New York State Department of Health:

·        Any individual who displays symptoms consistent with COVID-19, has tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 14 days, or within the last 14 days was in close or proximate contact of an individual who had symptoms of COVID-19 or tested positive for COVID-19, is not permitted to attend the ceremony.

·        All graduates are required to remain six feet apart from other attendees at all times.

·        All attendees outside of vehicles must wear a mask or face covering at all times.  Individual students may temporarily remove masks or face coverings while crossing the award area and may pose for an individual picture.

·        Person to person contact is not allowed.  Individuals may not shake hands.

·        Immediate family members of the student who reside in the same household must remain in cars for the entire ceremony.  Individuals may not be transported in the beds of pick-up trucks, and they may not exit vehicles and sit in the beds of pick-up trucks to watch the ceremony.

In addition,

·        Refreshments will not be available, and restroom facilities will not be available.

·        Pets are not allowed.

Our graduation plans have been filed with the Village of Rhinebeck and with Dutchess County, and our ceremony may be monitored for compliance with Village, County, and State requirements.  The failure to comply with any health and safety directives may result in the cancellation or abbreviation of the ceremony.


Location: Dutchess County Fairgrounds

Date:  Saturday, June 27, 2020

Time:  Gates open at 7:00 p.m., ceremony begins approximately 8:00 p.m. (Vehicles will enter through the Mulberry Street Entrance.)

Graduates: Graduates will exit vehicles at an established point and assemble on the far side of the track, forming a socially-distant procession line in alphabetical order.  Ushers will be available to guide students.  After assembling, at approximately 8:00 p.m., students will walk to the Grandstand and take an assigned seat in the stands (at least 6 feet apart).

Apparel: Traditional apparel (caps and gowns) are optional. Graduates please be reminded that you will be walking on uneven ground in order to approach the Grandstand, and you will be sitting in bleachers for the ceremony.

Families:  Each graduate will receive one parking pass for each household (single axle, passenger vehicles only please, “stretch limousines” or “party busses” will not be permitted). High profile cars will be parked in rear rows to ensure visibility for all. Vehicles without a parking pass will not be admitted.  Please contact me with any questions.  Vehicles will park on the infield, with 6 feet between vehicles, in order to observe the ceremony.  Please note:  individuals must remain inside the vehicle for the entire ceremony and may not exit. Individuals may not exit the cab of a pickup truck and sit in the bed to watch the ceremony.  Restroom facilities will not be available. Pets are not allowed.

The Ceremony:  After speeches, each graduate’s name will be announced, the graduate will walk down to ground level where they will receive their diploma from a table, and then the graduate will rejoin his or her family in their vehicle. After the graduates are certified by the Superintendent, the ceremony will conclude.  We estimate the ceremony will last approximately one hour.  We are exploring the feasibility of live-streaming the ceremony and video-recording it. A photographer will be present to photograph each student receiving his or her diploma.

Please note:  This plan has been approved by the Village of Rhinebeck and the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health, and this plan may be altered, expanded, or discarded based on future County Executive direction or future Governor’s Executive Orders.

Please contact Dr. Davenport with any questions.