WATERLOO — Community members and friends and families of DeKalb High School graduating seniors are invited to cheer the class of 2020 along an escort route from Auburn to DeKalb High School Sunday, May 31, when the seniors will receive their diplomas.

The school has made alternative plans for graduation because a traditional indoor ceremony was not possible due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On Friday, Principal Marcus Wagner emailed a letter to seniors and their families detailing the final graduation plans.

Seniors will be escorted from the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church at 500 E. 7th St., Auburn, to the high school, beginning at 2 p.m. Each senior will be allotted one vehicle in the escort and will decide who will be able to ride in the vehicle to watch him or her receive a diploma, Wagner said.

Staging of cars in the church parking lot will begin at 1:15 p.m., and all cars should plan to arrive by 1:50 p.m. Seniors will sit in the front passenger seat of each vehicle.

The escort route will proceed west on 7th Street to Main Street, turn north on North Main Street and follow C.R. 427 to the high school. Students will enter the high school at the district’s Central Office entrance and follow directions.

A diploma walk will take place on an outdoor stage at the high school. Family members will park directly in front of the stage to watch their senior walk across the stage. Family members may exit the vehicle to watch, but should not cross any barriers or approach the stage for any reason. Families will pick up their senior at a designated location.

A professional photographer will take a picture of each graduate, and copies will be provided to families during the first week in June, Wagner said.

A pre-recorded traditional virtual graduation ceremony will be released on Sunday, May 31. There will be two watch parties, one starting at 9:30 a.m. and one starting at 11 a.m.

“Our goal with having two premier events will allow our families to decide what works best for their schedule,” said Wagner.

The virtual ceremony also can be viewed on social media and the district’s website outside of the premier times.

“Thank you for your support for the DeKalb High School Class of 2020,” Wagner said in the letter. “We look forward to honoring them on Sunday, May 31, at their commencement ceremony.”

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