Graduation

Signs honoring graduating seniors are placed along the fences at Summit High School and other FUSD schools.  Graduation ceremonies will be held June 2-4 at Auto Club Speedway.  (Contributed photo by Mike Myers)

The Fontana Unified School District's decision to hold the 2020 graduation ceremonies at Auto Club Speedway has received lots of praise -- as well as a bit of criticism over a "one graduate, one vehicle" rule.

The district announced on May 21 that the ceremonies for the five comprehensive high schools will be held during the week of June 2-4 and will follow strict health guidelines to combat COVID-19.

On the FUSD Facebook page, dozens of people applauded the unique plan to hold the "drive-in" event at Fontana's huge racing facility.

"WooHoo! This is awesome!" said Lulu Avila. "Thank you FUSD and Auto Club Speedway for putting all this together. This will truly be an amazing graduation!"

Despite the highly unusual circumstances, the ceremonies will include many of the traditional aspects of a commencement, including a patriotic song, a principal's welcome, messages by the valedictorian and salutatorian, a presentation of the Class of 2020, and turning of the tassels.

Graduates will be able to have their names announced, will have a professional photo taken, will receive a diploma jacket, and will even get -- appropriately enough -- a commemorative mask, the district said.

In all, the events will be much more elaborate and exciting than what some seniors and their parents originally thought would take place.

"What a great idea! Awesome creative problem solving, FUSD," said Garner Holt Education through Imagination on Facebook. "Fontana Unified School District, again, going above and beyond for their scholars."

Mike Crumlin posted this comment: "Way cool! That's clearly thinking outside the (school) box!"

"I don't even have a graduating senior and I think this is super cool! Great job!" said Cortney Baisey Maier.

The ceremonies will be streamed live on YouTube for friends and family members to watch at home.

However, some Facebook commenters were very disappointed that only one vehicle per graduate would be allowed. This rule would prevent several extended family members from being able to attend in person.

The FUSD said that the types of vehicles allowed would be a passenger sedan, min-van, passenger van (up to 10 people), SUV, or pick-up truck with no persons riding in the truck bed.

Not allowed would be a motorcycle, tractor-trailer, stretch-SUV, limousine, "party" bus/van, bus, RV, or passenger van with up to 15 people.

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