Class of 2020 Celebrates 4 Ways

  • Virtual Prerecorded Commencement Exercises

    Mementos Pick Up Day + Turn You Tassel Event

    Yonkers City Hall Clock Tower Illuminated

    YONKERS, NY – Necessity is the mother of invention could never be more true as it has been throughout the COVID-19 health crisis. As the school year draws to a close, school district and communities across the country reinvented the traditions of high school graduation for the Class of 2020.

    In a message to the community on May 29, 2020, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Edwin M. Quezada wrote, “The year 2020 will forever be known for changing the world, our community, how we educate young people as well as each of our personal lives due to the COVID-19 health crisis. The occurrences over the past several months never could have been predicted. Yet, it has taught us how resourceful, resilient and determined we can and must be.

    The Class of 2020 continues to persevere and is in the final steps of completing all of the requirements to earn their high school diploma. These magnificent young people earned $124 million in scholarships and they plan to attend some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the fall. Our high school learning community is working tirelessly to celebrate this extremely important rite of passage for our students and families despite the restrictions due to COVID-19. Please know that every decision made had input from our high school students, administrators, teachers and community members.”

    The input included Zoom meetings with students representative from the eight (8) high schools, a survey for families and students, contributions from school administrators, ongoing discussions with the Board of Education Trustees and assessing every possible option available to the District that complies with state and county guidelines for gathering.

    Yonkers Public Schools is holding three (3) celebrations for each high school.

    • Mementos Pick Up Day when the students come to school for a grand event observing social distancing to receive their awards, certificates, diploma and covers as well as memorabilia the schools purchased for their Class of 2020.
    • Turn Your Tassel is a photo opportunity for the coveted individual picture of the graduate in cap & gown taken with their school administrators, the superintendent and Board president at the high school, again observing social distancing.
    • Virtual Prerecorded Commencement Exercises follow the traditional format for the District’s high school graduation programs including prerecorded speeches by administrators and students and each graduate’s photo and accomplishments are separately highlighted. The prerecorded programs will be posted at a specific date and time on the school’s webpage, on IGTV and on the District’s WDMC-TV station.

    “The Trustees and I have listened to our families and students desires and concerns about in-person graduations and balanced them against health and safety requirements currently in place,” noted Board of Education President Rev. Steve Lopez. “We are confident the wonderful celebrations scheduled at the schools will provide fond memories for our Class of 2020 graduates.”

    Mayor Mike Spano noted in the June 10, 2020 press release, City of Yonkers to Light Yonkers City Hall Clock Tower in Honor of Yonkers Public Schools High School Classes of 2020, “…, it is important we find a way for the City of Yonkers to collectively celebrate all of Yonkers’ resilient 2020 graduating high school seniors. Yonkers will shine bright for our shining stars!”