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Coronavirus Florida: Schools to host drive-thru graduation at Daytona International Speedway

Staff Writer
Walton Sun
Walton Sun

Instead of walking across the stage this year to receive their diplomas, high school graduates in the Flagler County school district will be driving across the finish line at the Daytona International Speedway in May — an adjustment forced by the coronavirus pandemic.

[CORONAVIRUS: Florida high school seniors might miss graduation farewells]

The district announced Friday that both Flagler high schools will have ceremonies on May 31. Matanzas High’s ceremony begins at 11 a.m. Flagler-Palm Coast High’s ceremony starts at 4 p.m.

Each family and graduate will be allowed one car, and everyone must stay inside their vehicle. The ceremony will be simulcast via radio inside the facility and live-streamed on the FlaglerSchools.com website.

Flagler graduations were originally scheduled for May 28. A committee of students, staff and district officials met throughout April to come up with a solution. They didn’t want to push traditional ceremonies into the summer just to possibly have to move them again, and they didn’t want to host anything virtually.

“This class has gone through school closures caused by three hurricanes and a global pandemic so they all envisioned a ’historic ceremony’ to close out their high school careers,” the release from the district stated. “When presented with the offer from Daytona International Speedway, the soon-to-be graduates were excited at the prospect of taking a ’victory lap’ as they end this chapter of their lives.“

The Volusia County school district opted to create a back-up plan to host graduations in July, although it’s still waiting to see if the regularly scheduled end-of-May ceremonies will be a possibility.

This story originally published to news-journalonline.com, and was shared to other Florida newspapers in the USA TODAY Network - Florida.