Principals Newsletter

June 4, 2020

Dear PHS Graduates and Families,

Last Wednesday, the Plainfield Board of Education approved our revised plan for a modified graduation ceremony. We are thrilled to be able to bring our graduating seniors back together one more time to celebrate their achievements. This would not have been possible without the support and patience of the community to come together to make this happen for our students. I want to express my extreme thanks to the students, parents, and everyone else that pitched in to make this happen and to overcome all of the obstacles that we faced. I have attached the information about our graduation week below. We ask that you be respectful of these guidelines, many of which are required by the Department of Health and the state of Connecticut. 

The Senior Sports Awards will air virtually on Monday, June 8th @ 6 pm.

The Class Night and Honor Cords ceremony will air on Tuesday, June 9th @ 6pm.

The virtual part of our graduation ceremony (the speeches) will air on Friday, June 12th @ 1 pm.

The links for all of the events will go live on the website on Monday, June 8th 

The drive-in portion of our graduation ceremonies will begin on Friday, June 12th at 4 pm. We will begin admitting cars onto campus at 3 pm. Here is the specific information regarding the drive-in ceremony:

•    Each graduate will receive an orange ticket that will admit the one car with the graduate and THREE family members onto campus. No vehicle will be permitted on campus without their ticket. The ticket has the graduate’s name and number that corresponds to a parking spot. All graduates should be wearing their cap and gown. We will start admitting cars at 3 pm on the 12th for a 4 pm start. There will be ushers to guide you to your specific spot. The tickets will be available for pickup on Monday the 8th in the main office of PHS from 8:00 am – 1:00 pm. The yearbooks and honor cords will also be available for pick up at this time. Please contact us if you are unable to pick up your ticket so that we can drop off the packet. 

•    The health department is requiring a list of vehicle occupants. That sheet will be included in the packet and you can drop it off when you check in to the graduation ceremony. You will also receive a list of the graduates and the order that we will call the names. As one student crosses the stage, the next student can exit their vehicle and walk to the stage. There will be faculty ushers to assist in this process. Alcohol and smoking are not permitted on campus at any time.  

•    The parking spots are assigned, however oversized vehicles such as pickup trucks and vans will be directed to park in one of the back rows in an effort to maximize viewing and sightlines for participants. Per the health department, participants must be in an enclosed vehicle, so convertible vehicles including Jeeps for example must have their tops up. Oversized vehicles such as limousines and carpool vans are not permitted. Car decorations are permitted as long as they do not disrupt viewing angles or lines of sight.

•    The graduation audio will be transmitted through an FM radio system so that everyone can hear. When you arrive for check-in, you will be notified which FM radio station to tune into inside your vehicle.

•    Per the health department, all attendees must remain in their vehicle at all times, except for the graduates exiting their vehicles for the stage walk. Anyone exiting the vehicle will be required to wear a facemask. The graduates will each be issued a Plainfield Panther facemask upon checking in. There will also be six portable bathroom facilities placed around the perimeter of the parking lot. If you need to use the facilities, please exit your vehicle wearing your facemask and an usher will be glad to assist you so that we adhere to all mandated social distancing protocols. All of the bathroom facilities will be equipped with hand sanitizer and will thoroughly be cleaned by our maintenance staff after each use.

•    The graduates will be filmed as they walk across the stage. This video will be added to the graduation speeches and be available for free download. Also, there will be a professional photographer taking pictures, and each family will receive two complimentary 5x7 graduation photographs. Additional photos copies are available for purchase from the photographer. 

•    You will be provided with a list of the order in which students will be called to the stage. Please listen and be ready for the name before you graduate to be called. When that name is called you may exit your vehicle and walk towards the stage. Again, faculty ushers will assist in this process to ensure a smooth and timely ceremony. Upon crossing the stage, all graduates will receive the case for their diploma. The actual diplomas will be mailed immediately following the ceremony.

•    After the ceremony, the cars will leave in two rows in the driveway. Cars on the right side will exit by the football field and turn right onto route 12. Cars in the left-hand land will be able to turn left towards the top of the school and exit the grounds by the tennis courts.

Again, thank you all for your continued patience. If you have anyone who has questions, please contact the school or email me directly. We will be happy to answer any questions and assist you in any way that we can.

Dr. Christopher L. Bitgood

Plainfield High School Principal