LOS LUNAS—School of Dreams Academy plans to hold its graduation ceremony at 8:30 a.m., Saturday, June 20, in the parking lot at Calvary Chapel Rio Grande Valley in Belen, followed by a parade back to the SODA campus.
Superintendent Mike Ogas said the church will be using the FM system so families can listen through their car radio and an outdoor stage that is used for the church’s drive-in services. He has been in discussion with the seniors for more than a month and they came to this plan.
“We’ll try to make it as special as possible; the kids deserve it,” Ogas said.
They plan to do a virtual robing ceremony via Zoom the Thursday prior to give the students an opportunity to read their letters and receive their scholarships.
The seniors will most likely park in the front two rows of the Calvary parking lot for the ceremony. The school will use a drone to take photos of the event. The school is trying to limit the amount of cars to one senior per vehicle and the family in one vehicle so that there are no more than 90 cars in the parking lot.
“We haven’t quite worked out the details of how they’re going to get their diplomas, whether or not they’re going to be on a table or if I’ll hand it to them. We’ll figure out a plan that sticks to the social distancing rule,” Ogas said.
The ceremony will not be as long as they’ve had in the past, rather it will be a simplified ceremony and let the valedictorian and salutatorian speak, in addition to Mr. Ogas. Once finished, the students and guests will have a parade from the church down N.M. 314 back to the campus.
“We’re going to see if we can get law enforcement volunteers to escort the kids back from the ceremony,” Ogas said.
He hopes to send out a detailed memo to parents and students and have a Zoom meeting to explain the graduation plans.
“Obviously, we have to comply with the standard health rules at that time, so we can’t have someone coming out of their car to take pictures of the seniors or anything like that,” Ogas said. “As of right now, that’s not acceptable and we were handed down these rules from the state. If the rules are changed we will make the changes accordingly.”
As far as the students who enlisted in the military and were planning to leave at the end of May, the school is still in discussion with the recruiters to get more information
“We have a couple of kids who have enlisted in the service, so we may do something virtually for them if they need to leave prior to that,” Ogas said.