The principal then devised a graduation plan for driving instead that would allow students to participate in the rite of passage in a safe manner. The community was looking forward to the activity until Los Angeles County health officials banned all in-person ceremonies, even physically distanced ones.
"When that notification came, my heart just sank," said Kirk McGinnis, director.
But McGinnis and the chairman of the Monrovia Board of Education refused to give up on their plan and contacted Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger.
"(We) told her about our dilemma, and she asked me if we had a plan, if it was a written plan, and the answer was yes," said Rob Hammond, chairman of the board. "We had all the written protocols to follow the guidelines."
And on Friday, school officials got the answer they hoped for when Barger announced that graduation ceremonies, in the form of car parades, could take place throughout Los Angeles County.
"From last Friday to this Friday, it was seven days of a lot of work and a bit of nail biting," said McGinnis. "So I was super excited today when I got that message."
So on June 3, the 2020 Monrovia Class will be able to cross a stage located in the middle of campus after waiting inside a car for their names to be called.
"We will capture the graduate walking to receive his diploma, and then our video production team, when broadcast live, will display the student information below," said McGinnis.
Family members will have the opportunity to take photos from the safety of their car, and will leave after picking up their student.
"It's definitely not traditional, but it really makes me feel concerned, which is really nice," said Kate Tadea, best student. "And maybe if I see my friends in cars very far away, that will also be great."
Barger said school districts will be allowed to organize their own car parades by coming up with a plan that allows for safe physical distancing by requiring all participants to be in a closed vehicle and to wear face covers if the windows are open.
"I know that through all this excitement that occurred this year, it will be a very emotional and impactful day," said Julie Burns, a mother. "We have two cars because we have twins, so I am sure we will pack and then fill."