We’ve become a nation of drive throughs. This has extended from drive through food pick-up to students driving through school parking lots in an effort to reconnect with their teachers and school staff. Instead of graduating seniors walking through the halls of elementary schools, they’re passing through in their cars. The elementary students are missing from the equation.

A well-attended elementary school drive through was held at the Lincolnton campus of Lincoln Charter School on Monday. The emotion was plain on the faces of the teachers was evidence as they waved to students as they passed by in their vehicles.  Throughout the coming weeks, most elementary schools in the county will be holding their own parades.

The Lincoln Charter School Class of 2020 will be literally driving through the finish line on May 29. Their commencement exercises will be held at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord.

“Commencement is a great tradition at Lincoln Charter, and it is our largest annual celebration,” Lincoln Charter School chief administrator Jonathan Bryant said. “Even though COVID-19 has impacted all aspects of life and has negatively affected the end of the year for the Class of 2020, we’re committed to making this year’s graduation an amazing experience for all of our graduates, in spite of the circumstances.  We think it is important to offer a plan that allows you the opportunity to prepare for the big event.”

According to Bryant, Lincoln Charter Schools’ goals for this event are to 

  • Recognize and celebrate the entire Class of 2020 - in the way that they deserve. 
  • Ensure accessibility to as many stakeholders as possible. 
  • Maintain the original graduation dates as closely as possible in order to minimize conflicts with future dates, to allow students to make appropriate transitions to the next phase in their life, and to maintain consistency with the dates that have been on the calendar for approximately a year.
  • Guarantee the safest ceremony for graduates and all spectators possible.
  • Follow guidelines released by NC Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and Governor Roy Cooper’s Office.

Lincoln Charter will hold the Class of 2020 Commencement at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 29 at 7:30 pm. Conversations were initiated with the speedway in March and official confirmation was just received.

“We have worked diligently with Charlotte Motor Speedway to provide a once-in-a-lifetime graduation experience,” Bryant said. “We have a few surprises planned for the ceremony that we hope that you will enjoy.”

Vehicles will be parked on the speedway infield during the ceremony which viewed on the jumbotron (Speedway TV) and attendees will listen to the ceremony via FM radio.  Attendees will remain inside of vehicles for the duration of the ceremony.  The traditional program will be followed, including senior speeches, graduate address, National Anthem, etc.  Graduates will have the opportunity to cross the finish line as their name is called, and safely receive their diploma.

This event will happen, rain or shine. This ceremony will include seniors from the Denver and Lincolnton campuses.

Unfortunately, due to the race schedule at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the original graduation date was not available.

A video will be taken of the ceremony and will be available for those who are unable to attend.

Lincoln County Schools Board of Education should announce what their graduation plans will be sometime this week.

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