KINDRED, N.D. — After learning of new COVID-19 cases in the community, Kindred High School is holding an in-vehicle graduation ceremony Saturday morning, May 23, instead of the in-person ceremony originally planned.

“We felt it wasn’t the best thing to have an in-person ceremony bringing families and graduates together," said Kindred Public School District Superintendent Steve Hall. "Our best thought was that we needed to move it to a virtual or drive-by parking lot ceremony.”

Graduating seniors and their families will park in the high school parking lot for a ceremony where each car can tune in to an FM radio station to hear each of the planned speeches. Cars will line up and drive through the parking lot’s loop from commencement. Once commencement is complete, the local fire department and ambulance will lead the cars on a parade through town.

The school is streaming the ceremony on the Magnitude Sports Media Network.

“We felt we wanted to do the ceremony where the graduates could still come to the high school and come to the parking lot,” Hall said. “It is really about following the criteria that the North Dakota Department of Health put out that everybody is wrestling with.”

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Kindred originally planned to hold an in-person graduation ceremony at its football field with four guests per person. But with the virus spreading through the community, it altered its plans.

The superintendent said the decision to cancel the in-person graduation was not an easy one.

“It has been very difficult and we certainly feel for the senior class," Hall said. "There have been so many disruptions to their high school careers; they have missed out on so many things."