Pleasanton Unified School District will honor the senior Class of 2020 this week, starting with virtual graduation ceremonies for Foothill, Amador Valley and Village high schools early Friday night, followed later by a fireworks show at the Alameda County Fairgrounds.
Foothill graduates and their families can watch a pre-recorded commencement ceremony at any time starting after 5 p.m. on May 29. A link to the video will be provided on the FHS2020 webpage for this year's seniors, and the ceremony will also be shown on TV30, though principal Sebastian Bull noted that time "may vary due to their programming schedule" for that day.
Amador's online ceremony goes live on Friday at 7 p.m.; a link to a video of the pre-recorded event will be posted at the AVHS2020 website. Viewers can watch the ceremony any time after 7 p.m., or on TV30.
After the virtual ceremonies, a celebratory fireworks display at the fairgrounds honoring the high school graduations and fifth- and eighth-grade promotions will light up the night sky, starting at 9 p.m. The fireworks show will also be broadcast live on Tri-Valley TV.
To comply with ongoing health guidelines, families are encouraged to watch the festivities from home. Organizers said the fireworks display will be about 1,000 feet high -- more than twice as high as the Fourth of July fireworks show -- to increase the vantage point for residents. The fairgrounds, as well as public parks and parking lots, will be closed to viewing access. Residents are also reminded to secure their pets during the show.
Diplomas will be issued differently to this year's graduates; Foothill is planning an optional drive-thru pickup on campus for seniors to receive their diploma on a staggered schedule after the weekend. Details about the plan were sent to Foothill families last week.
"As you know, this is not a normal graduation situation," Foothill officials said. "That being said, we are going to provide you an opportunity to have your name called, receive your diploma, and pose for a picture on a stage."
Participation in the drive-thru pickup is not required in order to graduate. Those who opt out will have their diploma mailed to their home instead.
Drive-thru participants must adhere to social distancing guidelines, wear face masks, and only one car per household is allowed. A complimentary 5-by-7 photograph will also be delivered to each graduate. Students and families are reminded that the drive-through "is not a gathering", and "no one is to congregate at school" or allowed to use the restrooms or go anywhere else on campus.
Amador officials did not respond before publication, but it is believed that a drive-thru will also be held on site that same week.