KCK Public Schools gets creative with drive-in graduations, giving other metro seniors hope

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — These past two months have been a roller coaster for high school seniors everywhere.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen, but it’s really disappointing because it’s what we look forward to 12 years in school,” Blue Springs senior Tyler Clayton said. 

Unprecedented times call for thinking outside the box.

KCK Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Charles Foust said creative thinking led to the idea of having drive-in graduation ceremonies at Boulevard Drive-In Theater.

“One of our individuals out of the communications department came into my office and said, ‘Hey, I have a great plan,’ and talked about the concept of a drive-in,” Foust said. 

Graduating seniors won’t get to walk across the stage. However, they’ll see their name and pictures roll across the big screen.

The theater will host six separate ceremonies starting June 1. There won’t be tickets this year, but the district is putting a limit of one car per family in place.

“We’re looking to do, you know, that they decorate their cars instead of their cap and gown. But they can wear their caps and gowns. We’ll have their programs, all those things will be part of the tradition,” Foust said. 

While KCKPS students now officially have a graduation date to circle on their calendars, other students across the metro are hoping to soon do the same. 

“I just hope it’s something. I want to be able to see my teachers and see our principals and stuff. I know it’s a possibility. It won’t be like it is traditionally,” Clayton said. 

Shawnee Mission, Lee’s Summit and Olathe school districts have all pushed back their graduation ceremonies until July, but Shawnee Mission has not finalized whether their ceremonies will be in-person on online. 

KCK Public Schools said its still ironing out the details for the ceremonies, but they’re happy to have something in place. 

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