Like other districts, the upcoming school year will look vastly different for Guadalupe Centers Charter Schools and its nearly 1,500-student body. However, those changes will be felt even before the new school year begins. This year’s graduation ceremony will certainly be different for Guadalupe Centers High School graduates amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Unfortunately, due to local gathering restrictions, our regular graduation venue (Community of Christ Church) will not be available to host our graduation this year. As such, we were faced with the uncertainty of how to host a safe and special graduation ceremony for the class of 2020. After discussing our options and gathering some feedback, we decided to pursue the idea of a drive-thru graduation,” says Michael Meaney, School Principal, Guadalupe Centers High School.

With 80 students graduating this year, this adjusted plan has left many grads with mixed feelings.

  “One thing that keeps coming up is students’ desire to walk across the stage in front of their families. Although this graduation may not be traditional, we are working diligently to make it memorable for the class of 2020. I am extremely excited for the opportunity to hand our graduating seniors their diplomas and watch them celebrate this accomplishment with their families,” say Meaney.

Students waited in their cars with family in a line stretching through the campus out onto Hardesty Avenue, playing music, celebrating and taking photos.

As graduates pulled to the front of the line, they exited their vehicles and donned their masks. With teachers and staff cheering them on from the sidewalk, graduates walked across the stage to accept their diplomas.

The event was held on Tuesday, July 21 at 7 p.m. at Guadalupe Centers Elementary School “Villa” Campus, 5123 E. Truman Road, Kansas City, MO 64127.