By Alexis Rogers, WLWT
Starting this week, Cincinnati Public Schools will be celebrating the class of 2020 in a creative way.
It will be a milestone with a different tone as CPS graduation embraces a drive-thru model to roll with the punches of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Administrators like Withrow University High School Principal Jerron Gray have been hard at work to make the moment special for seniors and their families.
"I think it caught the entire city, country, nation off guard," Gray said.
Starting May 18, schools like Withrow University High School will host drive-thru graduation ceremonies.
"We did not want another year to go by without acknowledging the hard work and dedication that they've put forth through their high school years, regardless of the circumstances," Gray said.
For the first time in district history, graduates will roll past their now Alma mater to get the very thing they worked day in and day out for.
"I'll announce their name as a normal graduation ceremony, but also let them know that we are celebrating and acknowledging their huge accomplishment," Gray said. "We will hand their diplomas to them with balloons, bells, whistles, still celebrating them all along the way, still letting them know that that we care about them."
Although students can't get out of their cars, photographers and videographers will be there to capture the moment.
"We are trying to let them know that, whether they're going off to college or into the workforce or into the military, that we want to celebrate this milestone for them, as they're launching into their future," Gray said.
Although this celebration will look a little different, no matter what, the class of 2020 will be celebrated with every turn. "Rain or shine. Rain or shine," Gray said.