CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) -- The coronavirus pandemic has taken away traditional graduation ceremonies, so on Thursday, the Sweetwater Union High School District put together a different type of ceremony to recognize graduates from its high schools.
The district held a drive-up graduation ceremony at Southwestern College in Chula Vista, and many of the graduating seniors came dressed in their cap and gowns with their cars decorated proudly showing off their school pride.
More than 6,000 students from 13 district high schools were invited to drive through the parade.
Because of the number of students taking part, organizers scheduled specific times for graduates based on last names. Each school assigned sections where teachers and staff gathered to greet students.
Many students have not seen some of their classmates, teachers, or school staff since March when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of all schools.
Elijah San Pedro, a graduating senior from Eastlake High School, told 10News Thursday’s celebration is a memorable one even though it’s not how he planned on ending the school year.
“It’s kind of difficult because I want to experience [what] any other senior would. But if I have kids one day, I can tell them I’ve been through a pandemic where my class was different,” San Pedro said.
District officials said though they couldn’t have a graduation, this was a way to bring the students and the families together to celebrate the class of 2020.