Greetings to the BCHS Class of 2020 Graduates and Parents- 

    It is with great frustration that the Class of 2020 will not be able to have a traditional graduation ceremony this year. The restrictions in Phase 3 for gatherings will not permit a traditional ceremony. But without question, the Class of 2020 will have a memorable graduation experience!! We are working through the final details of our alternative graduation ceremony. Since we are not able to have a typical graduation practice, I am going to share as much information as possible. We want all of our graduates and families to know what will be taking place. It is our hope that the following information will alleviate confusion. 

    The graduation ceremony/ parade will be held on June 13 (Saturday) at 10am. The ceremony and parade route will begin at Benton Grade School and travel north up McLeansboro St., turning left onto Main St. The parade will continue west on Main St. with each graduate stopping in front of Benton Consolidated High School (exiting the vehicle) being announced to receive their diploma, take a professional photograph, and then re-enter the vehicle to follow the parade route to the Benton Public Square, around the square, and finishing as the vehicle exits the square on to Route 37 South. 

    All graduates will assemble (stage) their vehicles in the parking spaces on the west side of Benton Grade School at 9:30am. Each student will park in alphabetical order. Please see the attachment with a map of the parking lot. Also, each student will be assigned a numbered parking spot of where they are to park alphabetically in the lot. There will be BCHS personnel at the grade school parking lot to assist anyone with their correct parking space. This will put each vehicle in alphabetical order for the ceremony/ parade. All graduates are to be seated in the front passenger seat or the back right passenger seat for the ceremony/ parade. For families that have more than one graduating senior in the family (twins, triplets, step-siblings), you may each be in a vehicle or you can all be in one vehicle. This is up to the families to decide. We encourage each graduate to be able to be in a separate vehicle. Each graduate will have a parking space at Benton Grade School. A reminder: the graduate will not drive in the parade. This will provide an opportunity for the family to be a part of the ceremony and also have a chance to take some pictures from the vehicle as the graduate is announced to receive their diploma. 

    We want to encourage the graduates to decorate the vehicle for the parade. This is not mandatory, but will provide a chance to be creative: make signs, use balloons, streamers, decorate windows, to help make a wonderful and memorable experience! 

    We want to provide a little more information and detail regarding students exiting the vehicle in front of school. There will be a BCHS faculty member that will be standing out on the street directly in front of the main entrance. The faculty member will open the door for the graduate to exit the vehicle. Once the student exits the vehicle, their name will be read over the public address system. The student will march up to the table and receive the diploma cover which will be placed on the edge of the table. After receiving their diploma, the graduate will move their tassel from the right side to the left side. The graduate will then march on the sidewalk, behind the marquee to the backdrop area for their photograph. After the photograph takes place, the graduate will move to the crosswalk, where another 

    faculty member will open the door and the graduate will re-enter the vehicle to continue on the parade route. The graduate vehicle will move from the front of the school to the crosswalk. 

    Please let all family and friends know that the ceremony/ parade will be broadcast live on WQRL 106.3 on your radio dial or www.wqrlradio.com. This will allow all family members to be able to hear the name of their special graduate!! 

    We want to remind all graduates to remember your cap, gown, and tassel. Also, each graduate will receive a free 5x 7 picture and a free DVD of the ceremony/ parade. Picture packets will be made available later when graduates pick up diploma, picture and DVD at BCHS in July. 

    It is our hope that the community will support our graduates along the parade route. We encourage everyone to utilize appropriate social distancing to make this a safe event for all. Also, to help ensure social distancing, BCHS school grounds from College St. to McCann St. will be reserved for only BCHS employees. 

    We look forward to seeing everyone celebrate the Class of 2020 on June 13th at 10am!! 


    Wade Thomas 


    Benton Consolidated High School