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Mount Abe plans for drive-up graduation

BRISTOL — The Mount Abraham Union High School Class of 2020 will graduate on June 6, but because of the pandemic their ceremony will look a lot different than those of years past.
“(We have been working) to design a graduation format that is within the state guidelines, will keep folks safe and allow for our graduates to walk across a stage and be recognized while receiving their diploma, as opposed to a virtual graduation,” wrote Mount Abe Principal Shannon Warden in a recent letter to students and families. “In the end (we) needed to make a decision on a format that was accessible for all of our families and that we could make our own to honor each graduate on this special day.” 
Seniors and families will attend graduation in vehicles according to a staggered schedule based on the last name of the student:
•  A – B: 9 a.m.
•  C – G: 10 a.m.
•  H – L: 11 a.m.
•  M – Sh: 12:30 p.m.
•  Sn – W: 1:30 p.m.
Warden outlined key information in her letter:
•  Each student and their family is allowed to have one vehicle. Extended family are invited to watch the ceremony via livestream on Northeast Addison Television.
•  Guided by school officials, vehicles will drive around the circle to the front of the building.
•  Students arriving early will be asked to park in the parking lot until their allotted time.
•  Vehicles must be six feet apart in the lineup, per state guidelines.
•  Only the graduate is allowed to get out of the vehicle, and they must wear a facemask.
•  Graduates will pick up a special graduation gift from senior officers after they exit the stage.
•  Most scholarships and awards will be picked up at the ceremony, but some will be mailed to recipients.
•  Anyone who chooses to forgo the ceremony may pick up their diplomas, awards and gifts by visiting the school Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.
School officials have ordered extra decorations for the ceremony and have hired a professional photographer to provide free portraits of the day. 
A DVD of the event will be sent to all graduates this summer.
“Please know that we recognize how challenging and disappointing it is for our graduates and their families that they will not be having a traditional ceremony this year,” Warden wrote in her letter. “While it is not what we had all hoped for we are doing everything we can to make it a special day for our seniors.”
Reach Christopher Ross at [email protected].

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