High School News

April 28, 2020

Big picture

April 28, 2020


Dear Members of the Class of 2020, Parents, and Families,

I hope this email finds you all doing well and remaining healthy and safe.

As I have communicated on multiple occasions since the start of the school closure ordered by Governor Wolf, Methacton High School has remained committed to providing a meaningful conclusion to the school experience for the members of the Class of 2020 and their families. While it has become clear that a traditional ceremony in the MHS stadium or gym will not be possible, I am excited to announce today that we will hold what has come to be called a “drive-in movie style” ceremony on the announced day of graduation, Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 4:00 PM. The ceremony will take place on the campus of Arcola Intermediate and Skyview Upper Elementary Schools. The plateau nature of this campus, unlike the hilly grounds of the High School campus, provides a long-expanse of reasonably flat ground with suitable parking to accommodate the numbers of vehicles involved in the ceremony. I understand that there will be some disappointment that the ceremony won’t be held at the High School. For this, I apologize. The Arcola/Skyview campus works better for this arrangement. Opportunities will be created over the summer months for graduates and families to visit the Methacton High School campus and take pictures in graduation caps and gowns.


In advance of the ceremony, dates and times will be established during the first week in June for graduates to come to MHS to receive their caps/gowns/tassels. At this time, Seniors will be required to return their district-assigned Chromebooks, return any books in their possession (textbooks and library books) and settle any outstanding obligations. Completion of this process is required for participation in the graduation ceremony. Additional information will be provided later in May.


It is absolutely imperative that everyone read, understand and comply with the processes outlined below in order to make this unique ceremony a successful experience for all our graduates and their families. Thank you in advance for your help with this process. Together, we can give our Seniors an experience they will remember and cherish.

Sincerely,

Dr. Jason Sorgini


Commencement of the Methacton High School Class of 2020

  • When: Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 4:00 PM
  • Where: Campus of Arcola Intermediate School and Skyview Upper Elementary School
    • Each graduate will be provided one (1) embossed parking pass admitting one (1) vehicle onto the campus for the ceremony. No exceptions can be made so please do not ask for additional parking.
    • Vehicles must be standard-sized vehicles and may nor be oversized in nature e.g. box trucks, limousines of any make or model, campers, recreational vehicles, buses, etc.
    • Vehicles may be decorated for the ceremony but please do not affix any items that may obstruct the view and disrupt the experience of anyone in vehicles nearby.
    • The campus will open at 2:45 PM. Law enforcement will be stationed at the entrance to the campus at the lighted intersection of Eagleville and Arcola roads. This is the only point of vehicle access to the campus. Each vehicle will be required to produce the embossed parking pass to access the campus.
    • The stage will be set up in front of the Skyview Upper Elementary School entrance. Parking for vehicles will begin at the tennis courts in front of Arcola and extend to the Facilities Building beyond the end of the Skyview building. When arriving, vehicles should park facing the building which will require pulling into the spaces in the row closest to the buildings and backing into spaces in the row closest to the tennis courts and wooded area. Spaces are not assigned but are on a first come, first served basis. Parking assistants will be on hand to aid in the process. It is assumed that those spaces in front of the stage will fill up first. Please know that the stage is elevated and speakers will be positioned along the entire expanse of parking to allow everyone to experience the ceremony.
    • All graduates should sit in the front passenger seat of the vehicle. This is essential to allow several opportunities for the graduates to stand outside their vehicles during several recognition periods during the ceremony and to be filmed using a drone fly-over all while maintaining social distancing.
    • All other occupants of the vehicle MUST remain inside their vehicles at all times. Only the graduates will exit the vehicle at the times during the ceremony mentioned above.
    • Based on weather conditions on June 11, it will likely be necessary to roll down windows in vehicles at least part way. Please maintain appropriate distance from the occupants of neighboring vehicles even with windows rolled down.
  • The Ceremony
    • The ceremony will be livestreamed and available for remote viewing. Information about how to view the ceremony will be published closer to the date.
    • Speakers will be set up along the expanse of vehicles to allow for audio to be heard throughout the parking areas. An audio-only stream will also be made available via a livestream.
    • The ceremony will begin at 4:00 PM and will be held rain or shine. In the event of thunder and lightning, the start of the ceremony may be delayed until the storm has passed.
    • The ceremony will consist of information and speeches from Dr. Jason Sorgini, Principal, Dr. David Zerbe, Superintendent of Schools, Mrs. Kim Aubrey-Larcinese, President of the Board of School Directors, and Mr. Matthew Matour, President of the Class of 2020.
    • The National Anthem and Methacton Alma Mater will be pre-recorded by Senior music program students. Please do not exit your vehicle and stand during the playing of these two songs.
    • During the ceremony, there will be several occasions when the graduates will be asked to exit and stand next to their vehicles. These will include such times as full recognition of all members of the class following the speech by Dr. Sorgini, recognition of scholarship and award recipients, recognition of the established honor societies, recognition of those entering military service and recipients of the Methacton School District “M” Award.During these periods of recognition, a drone will fly over the rows of vehicles to film the graduates as they stand outside their vehicles. This footage will not be shown on the livestream but will be added in post-production videos. Graduates will be instructed to exit the vehicle at these times and the driver of the vehicle next to the graduate will be asked to temporarily raise her or his vehicle window to allow for social distancing.
  • Distribution of Diplomas
    • The most meaningful part of any commencement ceremony is the reading of the names of the graduates and the distribution of diplomas. This will be done in alphabetical order.
    • The names of approximately three to five graduates will be read, in succession, at a time. When the names of the graduates are read, the driver of the vehicle is asked to exit the parking spot, proceed through the parking lot toward the direction of the Facilities Building and out to the main road that runs in front of the entrances of the building. Please stay in the left lane (closest to the sidewalk) and pull up directly in front of the large banner that will be set-up in front of the Skyview entrance. Place your vehicle in “Park” and leave the engine running. (See attached map for direction of travel)
    • Once in “Park,” place the embossed parking pass on your vehicle windshield with the back-side facing outward. The back-side of the pass will have the name of your graduate printed on it. The photographer will take a photograph of the pass to help ensure that your graduate’s name corresponds to the appropriate photograph.
    • The graduate and ONLY the graduate will exit the vehicle to be handed her or his diploma cover without any physical contact with the school personnel. If more restrictive social distancing guidelines remain in place, the diploma cover will be placed on a table near the backdrop and the graduate will pick it up herself or himself and then pose for the picture. The professional photographer will take a photograph available for purchase. The other occupants of the vehicle are asked to remain in the vehicle as they also take video and photographs.
    • After receiving the diploma, the graduate must immediately re-enter the vehicle so that the next vehicle may move forward.
    • Vehicles will then proceed down the driveway and stop for a second time in front of the Arcola main entrance. Please leave the parking pass in the windshield with the name facing out so that school personnel can read it. The driver will be asked to roll down her or his window and school personnel will hand the driver an envelope with the graduate’s actual diploma, the graduate’s medical records, and any other items that need to be returned to the graduate.
    • After receiving the envelope, vehicles are to immediately travel down the driveway and depart the campus via either the signalized intersection or the exit driveway next to the tennis courts.


It is imperative that all directions be followed precisely as written. Following these directions will protect the integrity of the experience for every graduate and her or his family. I also ask that no one attempt to have family or friends come to the campus on foot. Any spectator attempting to view the ceremony on campus in any manner other than in their vehicle will be asked to leave by security.


Looking ahead to the summer, in the event that social distancing guidelines allow, dates and times will be established in July and August for graduates and their families to spend time on the campus of the High School and in designated areas of the building to take photographs while wearing caps and gowns. Information will be provided in June. Additionally, a Senior luncheon is being planned on campus for August 5. Additional details will be provided in June.


Thank you in advance for your cooperation with this process. Working together, we can provide a meaningful and memorable commencement ceremony for the members of the Class of 2020!

Methacton High School

April 28, 2020

MHS Administration

Dr. Jason Sorgini, Principal jsorgini@methacton.org

Mr. John Smink, 9th Grade House Principal jsmink@methacton.org

Dr. Paul Spiewak, 10th Grade House Principal pspiewak@methacton.org

Mr. Dan Bontempo 11th Grade House Principal dbontempo@methacton.org

Dr. Karey Kochenour 12th Grade House Principal kkochenour@methacton.org

Dr. Jamie Gravinese, Supervisor of HS Special Education jgravinese@methacton.org

Big picture