News

Palo Alto public, private high schools team up for car parade graduation

With the usual pomp and circumstance off-limits, district invites all Palo Altans to celebrate seniors during citywide 'shout out' on June 3

Palo Alto school leaders are hosting a car parade on June 3 for graduates of Palo Alto, Gunn, Castilleja and Kehillah high schools, whose traditional ceremonies have been banned to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Map courtesy Palo Alto Unified School District.

While graduating high school seniors can't walk across the stage to receive their diplomas surrounded by friends and family this year, they will be able to celebrate via a socially distanced, Palo Alto-wide car parade on Wednesday.

Seniors from Palo Alto and Gunn high schools and the private Castilleja and Kehillah schools are invited to participate in the parade, the school district announced Friday. Santa Clara County leaders rolled back restrictions this month to allow drive-through celebrations and car parades in time for high school graduations.

"We know that it has been a challenging end to their high school years. We want to honor the seniors' hard work and the joy of finishing high school," school leaders wrote in a message to students and families.

On Wednesday, June 3, at 5:30 p.m., there will be first a citywide "shout-out" during which the district encourages anyone who lives in Palo Alto to make noise in their front yards to celebrate seniors by singing, chanting, cheering or banging pots and pans. Some seniors will put signs outside their homes so people can find the graduates in their neighborhoods.

At 5:45 p.m., seniors and their families can get in their cars for the parade, which will run in a clockwise route around Palo Alto. People are encouraged to join the route at the closest entry point; a map of the route is available here. The district worked with the city and police department on the parade plans.

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Recognizing that not all seniors may have access to a car, the district is asking anyone in that situation to fill out this form by Monday, June 1, to be able to participate in the parade.

Under guidelines from the Santa Clara County Health Department only members of the same household can be in a single car, and people cannot leave their cars at any time during the parade. Cars cannot congregate, and bikes and motorcycles are not allowed. People who want to cheer the seniors on or watch the parade must wear masks and adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and the Almanac here.

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Palo Alto public, private high schools team up for car parade graduation

With the usual pomp and circumstance off-limits, district invites all Palo Altans to celebrate seniors during citywide 'shout out' on June 3

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Fri, May 29, 2020, 8:19 pm

While graduating high school seniors can't walk across the stage to receive their diplomas surrounded by friends and family this year, they will be able to celebrate via a socially distanced, Palo Alto-wide car parade on Wednesday.

Seniors from Palo Alto and Gunn high schools and the private Castilleja and Kehillah schools are invited to participate in the parade, the school district announced Friday. Santa Clara County leaders rolled back restrictions this month to allow drive-through celebrations and car parades in time for high school graduations.

"We know that it has been a challenging end to their high school years. We want to honor the seniors' hard work and the joy of finishing high school," school leaders wrote in a message to students and families.

On Wednesday, June 3, at 5:30 p.m., there will be first a citywide "shout-out" during which the district encourages anyone who lives in Palo Alto to make noise in their front yards to celebrate seniors by singing, chanting, cheering or banging pots and pans. Some seniors will put signs outside their homes so people can find the graduates in their neighborhoods.

At 5:45 p.m., seniors and their families can get in their cars for the parade, which will run in a clockwise route around Palo Alto. People are encouraged to join the route at the closest entry point; a map of the route is available here. The district worked with the city and police department on the parade plans.

Recognizing that not all seniors may have access to a car, the district is asking anyone in that situation to fill out this form by Monday, June 1, to be able to participate in the parade.

Under guidelines from the Santa Clara County Health Department only members of the same household can be in a single car, and people cannot leave their cars at any time during the parade. Cars cannot congregate, and bikes and motorcycles are not allowed. People who want to cheer the seniors on or watch the parade must wear masks and adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and the Almanac here.

Comments

Scott
Barron Park
on May 29, 2020 at 10:31 pm
Scott , Barron Park
on May 29, 2020 at 10:31 pm
19 people like this

Glad this has been arranged. I hope students and community are both eager to take part. This is a great time to have access to a flatbed truck.


Infinite Loop?
Evergreen Park
on May 30, 2020 at 6:40 am
Infinite Loop?, Evergreen Park
on May 30, 2020 at 6:40 am
6 people like this

Sounds fun. Is there a starting and/or ending location? Sounds like people just hop on the merry go round. Might be nicer to have everyone start from a central point and joiners can hop in behind the last car so that everyone does a full lap.


Rambutan
Ventura
on May 30, 2020 at 10:06 am
Rambutan, Ventura
on May 30, 2020 at 10:06 am
1 person likes this

Will the roads be closed to regular traffic?
Can bicycles still ride on any of the route roads?


Oh well...
Old Palo Alto
on May 31, 2020 at 7:21 am
Oh well..., Old Palo Alto
on May 31, 2020 at 7:21 am
2 people like this

What about protecting our Ozone layer? Parade kinda sounds like when we went crusin' up and down El Camino for hours in our cars.


parent
Downtown North
on May 31, 2020 at 7:46 am
parent, Downtown North
on May 31, 2020 at 7:46 am
8 people like this

Starts at 5:30pm, then lasting how long? Seems kind of dangerous to have this at night.


Rob
Atherton
on Jun 1, 2020 at 7:55 am
Rob, Atherton
on Jun 1, 2020 at 7:55 am
8 people like this

Pathetic. Stay home!


Resident
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2020 at 9:29 am
Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2020 at 9:29 am
2 people like this

Is anyone else concerned about this clashing with protests? The area is on edge with curfews being drawn up when incidents of looting appear in a community. We are on the edge of a very upmarket shopping center and it is quite possible that Stanford will be targeted at some time in the next few days.

I suggest to proceed with great caution on this and would be extremely wary of taking part or having my loved ones take part.


Class of 2020 Parent
Charleston Meadows
on Jun 1, 2020 at 10:53 am
Class of 2020 Parent, Charleston Meadows
on Jun 1, 2020 at 10:53 am
6 people like this

The bookends of our daughter's life so far has been 9/11 and pandemic/injustice/economic disaster. I am grateful to be given a brief respite Wednesday evening to celebrate her and her cohorts and be reminded to keep hope alive.


Karen H
Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jun 1, 2020 at 11:18 am
Karen H, Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jun 1, 2020 at 11:18 am
8 people like this

Look for us at Greene (Jordan) Middle School! We will be out taking photos as you go by! We will have both sides of the street covered. The photos will be up by the weekend. See you then!


Love the Grads!
Palo Verde
on Jun 1, 2020 at 11:30 am
Love the Grads!, Palo Verde
on Jun 1, 2020 at 11:30 am
10 people like this

Great idea! These kids have worked hard and deserve some celebration.
This is a simple lovely recognition making the best of things during a difficult time. 5:30pm is well before sundown.

Saddened by the gloom-doom naysayers. Ugh.


Bike Parade!
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2020 at 12:12 pm
Bike Parade!, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2020 at 12:12 pm
5 people like this

The majority of PAUSD students bike or walk to school. I bet adults organized this. Good grief. How about a bike parade? I'm not getting in my car to stand in line and clog streets emitting fumes the will hasten climate change. Are we thinking about our kids future with this celebration?

My daughter said she thinks this is more to make the parents feel better than the kids. What the kids are really missing is in-person goodbyes and celebration with friends they have known since elementary school. They are missing signing yearbooks and hug and sharing tears and the joy of this moment. I'm sorry kids are missing this rite of passage, but a car parade with people encased in steel is not the way to fill the gap.


No Wonder
Evergreen Park
on Jun 1, 2020 at 1:20 pm
No Wonder, Evergreen Park
on Jun 1, 2020 at 1:20 pm
20 people like this

@Bike Parade - Then don't participate. No one is making your daughter drive around. My son is not participating, but I don't harp on the people that want to get out and drive around. I also don't bad-mouth anyone that helped set it up. And, from what I can tell, it was the PAUSD superintendent, the activities directors from the district's high schools along with, I'm sure, administrations from the private high schools in the city.

No one is saying the car parade is taking the place of a graduation ceremony. It's one way the district came up with to celebrate the seniors. Why is that a bad thing?

If you want a bike parade, then organize a bike parade. Where were you when the schools were discussing the car parade? Maybe that would have been a good time to step up and organize something. Or, since you seem to be upset with parents organizing activities, have your daughter organize the bike parade. No one is stopping her from saying goodbye to any of her elementary school friends.

Do you really think that 500 cars driving around for an hour is going to end the planet or even hasten its demise to any measurable degree?


Resident
Palo Alto High School
on Jun 1, 2020 at 1:34 pm
Resident, Palo Alto High School
on Jun 1, 2020 at 1:34 pm
2 people like this

If we still had our drive-in, schools could have had it there - in their cars.
Parents pooled their money together and rented the screen.
Other cities around the US did this, and it was extremely successful.


Nobody's Perfect
Barron Park
on Jun 1, 2020 at 1:37 pm
Nobody's Perfect, Barron Park
on Jun 1, 2020 at 1:37 pm
7 people like this

Id like to thank everyone for being part of the dialogue /conversation. Its truly valuable to see how others are thinking and feeling. I am humbled by the thought and care others have for everyone and our planet . Thank you all! We are only human.
I hope for the best for all of us , no matter how we see the upcoming graduation celebration event . As for me, I plan to try to remember the basic adage to find the good because good is everywhere!!! I wish those who are graduating congratulations and those who wanted to graduate but did not make it I wish them well and I also wish all of us well because we are all struggling in someway perhaps or another . Peace to all.


Fact Checker
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 1, 2020 at 2:35 pm
Fact Checker, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 1, 2020 at 2:35 pm
3 people like this

No facts to check.

Thank you community for trying to recognize this moment and give these teens a positive memory.


YP
Crescent Park
on Jun 1, 2020 at 4:17 pm
YP, Crescent Park
on Jun 1, 2020 at 4:17 pm
13 people like this

Great idea!!

and all of you that are uncomfortable with it - stay at home!! These kids chance to celebrate has been ruined by Covid let them have a little fun. thank you


Read the article
Palo Alto High School
on Jun 1, 2020 at 5:58 pm
Read the article, Palo Alto High School
on Jun 1, 2020 at 5:58 pm
Like this comment

@Bike Parade

Wow your statement was ignorant beyond belief. In addition the the excellent points from No Wonder, let me offer this one: read the article. Bike parades are not allowed by county order.

I thought we lived in an educated community. Good grief indeed.


YP
Crescent Park
on Jun 1, 2020 at 7:18 pm
YP, Crescent Park
on Jun 1, 2020 at 7:18 pm
2 people like this

@ read this article

then stay at home. You can do it. ! If all of this scares you bunker up to the vaccine


Megan Swezey Fogarty
Midtown
on Jun 1, 2020 at 7:42 pm
Megan Swezey Fogarty, Midtown
on Jun 1, 2020 at 7:42 pm
7 people like this

Thank you for organizing! Let's raise the roof for the Class of 2020!


:/
Palo Alto High School
on Jun 2, 2020 at 2:57 am
:/, Palo Alto High School
on Jun 2, 2020 at 2:57 am
4 people like this

[Post removed.]


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