Virtual graduation to be held June 26 for Riverhead’s Class of 2020

Plans have been set to hold a virtual graduation for Riverhead High School seniors this year, but Superintendent Aurelia Henriquez vowed that it would not replace an in-person ceremony later this summer.

In a robocall sent out to families Friday afternoon, Dr. Henriquez said the e-ceremony will be held on the scheduled graduation date of June 26 and will be streamed online.

Additional details on the virtual ceremony were not yet available.

District administrators have been holding virtual roundtable discussions with members of the senior class as they plan alternatives to graduation, prom, yearbook signing, awards and other events.

“The students and the community have been very vocal about wanting a virtual ceremony and something in person,” Dr. Henriquez said in an emailed statement earlier this week.

The superintendent said the in-person event is tentatively scheduled for July.

“Since we do not know if we will be allowed to come together by then, we will plan for [an event] that will provide enough space and options to keep everyone safe,” her pre-recorded message said.

In addition to the online graduation ceremony, district officials announced a drive-thru celebration will take place Friday, May 22 at 6:30 p.m. at the high school to honor the class of 2020.

Together with their families, seniors are urged to decorate their cars and drive through the high school parking lot, where teachers and first responders will line the route to celebrate their accomplishments.

“This event promises to be loud, fun and filled with positive energy for our graduating class. We look forward to seeing our seniors and their families on that day,” Dr. Henriquez said.

Anyone attending the event must adhere to social distancing guidelines and wear a face mask, officials said.

The superintendent said officials are open to hearing additional ideas and input from students and community members ahead of their next roundtable planning session scheduled for May 18.

“To our seniors: we continue to do all that we can to create a few memorable experiences for you,” her message said. “Please continue to be the strong willed, independent-thinking, amazing young people that you are.”