Chatham School Holds In-Person Graduation

Some positive news to brighten your day!

The pandemic has changed everything this year and brought challenges to so many. Yet, it has also made us more flexible and creative, in many ways.

On July 29, our Chatham school did something new, hosting its first ever outdoor graduation to honor the Class of 2020. It was a special evening for the 16 of our 22 graduates who were able to attend with their family and friends. The ceremony was abbreviated and diplomas were picked up off a table, without any congratulatory handshakes, of course.

Despite the masks and requirement for social distancing, the upbeat spirit of this resilient class was evident, especially at the conclusion when they got up on their feet for a final dance together!

View video highlights of the ceremony.

Zooming into Graduation!

Like everything during this pandemic, June graduations at our schools were markedly different.

Our students Zoomed, instead of marching in a procession. They sat at home with family members, instead of on stage with their classmates. There was no after-ceremony cake celebration or time for taking photos with friends.

However, the same level of excitement and recognition for their accomplishments shone through the virtual ceremonies. Students read heartwarming speeches, and there was plenty of clapping and cheering!

Our graduating students have truly earned their diplomas, from academic achievements to learning work and social skills. The obstacles our students surmounted on their journey to a diploma are each unique. Yet, they all share a spirit of resilience and perseverance, especially after the past three months of distance learning. During this difficult time, our graduates dug in and showed us their positive attitudes and deep commitment to completing the journey. We are so proud of them!

Some grads will continue in our PRIDE Adult Program, while others will begin jobs through our affiliate Community Personnel Services (CPS). Other graduates will start anew elsewhere.

All will remain part of the fabric of our tight-knit ECLC family. We look forward to welcoming them home for alumni events and annual dinners in the years ahead! Congratulations Class of 2020!