class of 2020

Pomp and Circumstance: NYC Announces, Prepares for Virtual Graduation Ceremony

The graduation will bring the entire city together in celebration and feature student spotlights, musical performances, and special guest speakers , including Lin-Manuel Miranda

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What to Know

  • On Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza announced a citywide graduation celebration will be held on June 30. 
  • The COVID-19 crisis disrupted the traditional celebrations honoring the accomplishments of the Class of 2020 throughout the country, including in New York City.
  • The graduation celebration will be livestreamed on the DOE’s and City’s social media channels, as well as at https://www.nycclassof2020.com/.

It will be a day of pomp and circumstance around New York City.

On Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza announced a citywide graduation celebration will be held on June 30. 

The COVID-19 crisis disrupted the traditional celebrations honoring the accomplishments of the Class of 2020 throughout the country, including in New York City. This year's program will be broadcast to all of New York in recognition of what students who form part of the graduating class have achieved.

The graduation will bring the entire city together in celebration and feature student spotlights, musical performances, and special guest speakers—including award-winning artist, and former NYC Public School student and teacher, Lin-Manuel Miranda. Those who will participate in the ceremony include:

  • a musical performance from Brooklyn’s Phony Ppl as well as student musical performances;
  • guest speakers including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Pitbull, Kenan Thompson, Nick Kroll, Angela Yee, Tina Fey, Andy Cohen, and more;
  • a special valedictorian speech;
  • and contributions from family members and educators who have supported graduating seniors.

The graduation celebration will be livestreamed at 7 p.m. June 30, on the DOE’s and City’s social media channels, as well as at https://www.nycclassof2020.com/.

“Graduating high school under normal circumstances is an extraordinary accomplishment, but I am especially impressed by the Class of 2020 and all they have been through to get to this point. In this time of great upheaval and many challenges, they will be leading the way to create a fairer, safer future for all. I could not be more proud to celebrate them with this special sendoff,” de Blasio said.

“Congratulations to the amazing Class of 2020! There’s never been a New York City graduating class like yours. There’s never been a senior year like this!” said Carranza. “As Chancellor of all New York City Public Schools, and on behalf of all 150,000 staff who make our schools run: I am so proud of you.”

The citywide celebration complements ceremonies and events being held in communities across the city. These celebrations are being done virtually, as drive-throughs, and in other unique socially distant ways to safely honor and celebrate all those graduating.

Instead of a virtual ceremony, one Long Island high school has come up with a creative solution to allow for an in-person graduation, while still maintaining social distancing, Greg Cergol reports
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