Class of 2020

Update: Graduation 2020

We are working closely with our partner agencies to make timely decisions in the safest interest of McDonough families and our staff. As these uncertain times have shown, the guidance and information we receive requires ongoing flexibility and understanding on our part, as intelligence continues to evolve prompting us to learn, process and quickly adjust. As such, new recommendations have just been shared allowing local superintendents to plan in-person graduations with very specific social distancing guidelines in place.

We offer families two options; an in-person option as well as the option where pictures received from graduates in their cap and gown will be combined with senior photos on file to create a graduation video. Graduation speeches will be safely pre-recorded and included in the production as well.

Please discuss the two options as a family and decide whether you will an attend in-person appointment to have a graduation photograph taken or will participate virtually by submitting a photo taken at home. You will be asked to communicate your choice during cap and gown pick-up day on May 29, 2020. All decisions will be final.

May 29, 2020-Pick-up Day

We will distribute the following senior items on May 29, 2020: Caps and gowns, senior awards, diplomas, diploma covers, all items left in lockers, and a commemorative protective mask, and yearbooks (if pre-ordered). All refunds of senior dues (if applicable) will be provided at this time as well, with checks made out to the first guardian listed on the emergency card.

Seniors with last names A-K should arrive between 8:00 and 9:30 AM in the bus lot, entering by the tennis courts, and follow the signs for “Packets.” 


Seniors with last names L-Z should arrive between 10:00 and 11:30 AM in the bus lot, entering by the tennis courts, and follow the signs for “Packets.” 

In addition, please bring all items that belong to the school, such as textbooks, library books, and uniforms, and LAPTOPS in a bag clearly marked with student name and student ID number.  CTE students should also bring textbooks and other property with them that needs to be returned to the Robert D. Stethem Education Center.  There will be a Stethem representative present.

We will follow the same contactless pick-up methods used for the distribution of instructional packets and meals during our current school closure. On pick-up day, families are asked to pull their vehicle up with the driver’s door facing the curb, following “Packet” signs and remain inside the vehicle. After obtaining the name of the graduate by showing student ID, staff will place all of the items to be picked up on a table for retrieval.  In order to ensure that each student receives these important items, we require that the graduate be present at the time of pick-up or that the person picking up the graduate’s items show the student ID card of the graduate to whom the items belong.

Please discuss the two graduation options as a family and decide whether you will an attend in-person appointment to have a graduation photograph taken or will participate virtually by submitting a photo taken at home. You will be asked to communicate your choice on May 29, 2020 during cap and gown pick-up day. All decisions will be final.

June 1, 2020-In-Person Photo Day

On May 29, 2020, seniors must indicate which option they select to participate, virtually or in-person. If your family chooses the in-person option, we will provide you a specific appointment time for June 1, 2020.  Graduates will need to arrive dressed in their cap and gown, holding their diploma cover, wearing any earned school honors and awards as well as the mask bearing our school logo. Graduates may invite two family members to accompany them, who must also wear masks. We will allow 45 families at a time into the school lot, (one family per vehicle).  Cars must enter the school lot by the access road, not by the tennis courts.  Seniors will be called, five students, social distanced at a time, to walk across our stage, carrying their diploma cover and have their picture taken. Students will be directed to return to their family car once after the photograph and will leave the school lot.  This event will be held outdoors and restroom facilities will not be available.

If the weather prohibits an outside event, families will be asked to report at their scheduled time and will be invited into the school to follow the same procedures in our school auditorium. Two members of each family will be permitted to watch in the auditorium and then will be asked to exit quickly so the next family may enter. This option will require patience as it will take extended time to follow social distancing guidelines.

Virtual Ceremony

The virtual ceremony will contain many of the features of the ceremonies that we normally hold, including speeches by selected student speakers and staff, the roll call of graduates, and the presentation of the class. For the roll call, we will use two photographs of each graduate: the senior picture included in the yearbook and a photo that we would like for each graduate to submit of themselves in their cap and gown wearing any earned school honors and awards. Those participating in the In-person option will have a picture used from that day. After picking up your graduation items on May 29, we ask that you return home, organize your things, and then have a family member take a picture of you wearing your cap, gown, tassel, stole, and other senior awards. You may choose to hold your diploma cover in the picture, just as you would on stage during an in-person graduation. Please take the photo horizontally, so the view is compatible with viewing on a television or computer screen. The photo should be saved and named using the following format: LastName_FirstName, and school name (ex. Smith_Alex McDonough) and emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. All entries must be submitted no later than 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 4, 2020.

If you do not submit a picture by the deadline, or if your picture is found to contain inappropriate content, school staff will use only your senior yearbook photo, if one is on file, as a part of the graduation ceremony. If you did not take a senior photo for the yearbook, your name will appear on the screen at the appropriate point in the ceremony alongside an image of the school logo.

Graduation ceremonies will be aired on YouTube, Vimeo, Comcast Channel 96 and Verizon FIOS 12 starting at 7 am on June 11, 2020.  After June 11, CCPS will make all graduation ceremonies available on for viewing and download.

Senior Dues-now $45

Due to the cancellation of some senior activities and the new format of our graduation, each school will only charge senior dues in the amount of $45 to cover the cost of each graduate’s cap and gown.  Any family that has previously paid a greater amount will receive a refund check from the school. Any family who has not yet paid this adjusted total is asked to do so by May 29, 2020. Please use or send a check (made payable to McDonough High School including the graduate’s name on the “memo” line) to:

McDonough High School

Attn: Financial Secretary

7165 Marshall Corner Road

Pomfret, MD 20675