Class of 2020 Graduation Plan Announced

Attention Watervliet High School seniors: A letter was mailed on Tuesday, June 9 to all members of the Class of 2020 that describes in great detail the plans for a June 17 graduation ceremony. The letter includes tickets to graduation. Please check your mail for this letter. If you do not receive a letter in the mail, please contact High School Principal Ryan Groat,, or call 518-629-3300.

Thank you for your patience and flexibility regarding our plans for this year’s graduation ceremony. To say the last few months have been a bit of a challenge is an understatement. Our hearts and thoughts go out to all of our seniors and their families as we try to navigate the challenges of COVID.

We have created a plan that follows CDC guidelines and allows our graduates to walk across the stage in caps and gowns to receive their diplomas and allows for six (6) immediate family members to experience the ceremony with them.

In weighing alternatives for commencement plans, we took a variety of factors into consideration, including: the size of our graduating class (101 students); the number of family members allowed to attend; mass gathering restrictions; and the limitations of physical space on campus and other nearby locations.

After carefully weighing these factors, the best option for students is to hold the Class of 2020 Commencement Ceremony at the Watervliet Junior-Senior High School. The venue allows us to offer our students the opportunity to participate in the longstanding tradition of graduating on campus while maximizing the number of family members who can attend and witness their beloved graduate walk across the stage and accept his/her diploma.

Graduation Ceremony

Time: June 17, 2020: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. (approximately)

  • Staging area at Watervliet Elementary School Parking Lot
  • Graduation Ceremony at Watervliet Junior-Senior High School

General Plan

  • Maximum of six (6) tickets for family to attend the ceremony
  • Maximum of two (2) cars in the processional to the ceremony
  • Graduates will start at the Watervliet Elementary School parking lot. Students’ cars will be arranged in alphabetical order. Cars will parade in an orderly fashion to Watervliet High School for the ceremony. Assigned staff members will greet and provide direction for each graduate and family.
  • Upon arrival at the Watervliet High School, students/families be directed to the top of the bus loop nearest the cafeteria entrance where staff will greet them and escort them into the building for photos and for the awarding of diplomas.

Presentation of Diplomas

  • Each graduate’s name, along with all earned accolades, will be announced. The graduate will cross the gymnasium with their family members (spaced at least one minute apart) to walk up and across the stage and take their diploma. Each diploma will be picked up by the graduate, which will be labeled and placed on a table on the stage.

Videographer/Final Video

  • Each graduate will be recorded as they walk across the stage and the recording will be used to create a final graduation video.
  • The final graduation video will be broadcast on WVLT on the original graduation date and time, Friday, June 26 at 6 p.m.


  • All graduating seniors were encouraged to write a speech. All speeches that are received will be judged by a committee and those selected to represent the class of 2020 will be pre-recorded for the Graduation 2020 video.

Caps and Gowns

  • Caps and Gowns ($35 fee) will be handed out on Friday, June 12 between 11 a.m.-2 p.m. (NOTE: This is the same date seniors are scheduled to pick up personal items from lockers.)

Although this is certainly not how any of us imagined we would be celebrating our senior class, we are doing everything in our power to make the June 17 graduation an event to remember within a safe and permissible environment!

Thank you, and please reach out if you have any questions.