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Courtesy of Tulsa Public Schools

Published 05/13/2020 | Reading Time 2 min 48 sec

TULSA, Okla. After careful consideration and conversations with students, parents, and teachers, Tulsa Public Schools has made the decision to hold school-based “drive-up” graduations for the Class of 2020. These alternative graduations will take place during the week of May 18-May 22 at each school site.

In conversations with representatives from the class of 2020, students identified the three most important elements of a graduation ceremony that they would want to re-create within current health and safety restrictions:

  • Wearing their cap and gown;
  • Picking up their diploma; and
  • Turning the tassel on their mortarboards.
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“While we would all prefer to hold a traditional celebration, the ‘drive-up’ graduation includes the elements that we know matter most to our seniors,” said Superintendent Deborah A. Gist. “This is not, of course, how any of us expected to celebrate the class of 2020, but our school leaders, class sponsors, teachers, and staff are looking forward to creating a meaningful experience for our graduates even if it’s from a distance!”

Gist said that the district hopes to also hold traditional graduation ceremonies in July if social distancing restrictions are lifted and if the Centers for Disease Control advises that it is safe to hold large gatherings. Tulsa Public Schools anticipates making a decision about whether to hold traditional ceremonies in early June. 

The district will kick off graduation week on Sunday, May 17 by lighting up the University of Tulsa’s stadium, OKEOK Field, and every stadium within the district at 8:20 p.m. (20:20 military time) for 20 minutes and 20 seconds to recognize the Class of 2020. Starting on Tuesday, May 19, all Tulsa Public Schools drive-up commencements will take place at each individual high school campus. See the full schedule of ceremonies below:

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The district is strongly encouraging individuals to follow the City of Tulsa’s guidelines and wear a mask while participating in the drive-up graduations. While on campus, students and parents should remain in their cars and until they arrive at the diploma pick up spot only. Individuals who do not follow health and safety protocols will be asked to leave the school campus.

For more information on the Tulsa Public Schools Class of 2020 visit

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