PALMDALE — Palmdale High School seniors in the Class of 2020 won’t get a traditional graduation ceremony this month because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, that does not mean students’ achievements will go unnoticed.
The school did give seniors in the Honors Program, Advancement Via Individual Determination, the Engineering and Health Careers academies and California Scholarship Federation lawn signs, glass “Class of 2020” graduation mugs and gift bags Tuesday morning, to honor their achievements.
A procession of cars with seniors and/or their parents drove by the school Tuesday morning to pick up their items and get well-wishes from teachers and staff. Engineering Academy students received a bag with a graduation stole, a certificate, competency from Career Technical Education and a yellow 3D-printed PHS cell phone stand.
Some students decorated their cars with balloons or messages written on the windows. There was even one car with a mask covering the front end.
“This was a great thing to be able to do, for us, for the kids,” Angela Hefter, co-adviser for Palmdale High’s Health Careers Academy, said. “It’s just a collaboration of all the academies, CSF, AVID, senior advisers. This was the best that we could up with.”
Academy students received a “Home of an Academy Graduate” yard sign for their respective academy. They also received a smaller two-sided Palmdale High graduate yard sign small enough to fit in a window. Students who did not get their senior picture taken could have their photo taken to be included in the yearbook.
Approximately 300 students, including valedictorians and meritorious scholars were expected Tuesday. The rest of the graduating class is expected to pick up their items today.
“It’s been a great come together,” Senior Adviser Cathy Calvert said. “We, as a team, came up with this, it’s one person.”
Calvert said they organized the drive-thru distribution via text messages, keeping in mind social distancing and the heat wave expected this week.
The glass mugs, filled with chocolate candy bars, featured the names of all the Class of 2020 graduates.
“We wanted to make sure the kids at least got something so we ordered the mugs,” Calvert said.