Commencement 2020

update: the full guide to Commencement 2020 for eighth graders and their families is at


above: the ceremony will be livestreamed beginning at 5:30pm on June 10th. If the embedded video above does not display, or if you want to share the link, use the link


Yesterday afternoon, the eighth grade learned about the plans for their Commencement in a meeting with Mr. Burnstein, the Middle School Director, and Head of School Dr. Thomas López.

They were beyond excited.

The plan grew directly out of conversations with students and families that began on April 1st, the first day of the Online Learning Community. The process drew in faculty and parent voices from across the school, building on Rhode Island Department of Health guidelines with support from the City of East Providence. Gordon's consulting physician was especially crucial as decisions were made.

The Class of 2020 will be honored and celebrated on Gordon’s campus at 5:30pm on Wednesday, June 10th, as originally scheduled.

Commencement will take place outdoors at Gordon, and graduates will attend the event in cars with their immediate families. 

Key traditions will be part of the experience, including the floral arrangement with a contribution from each student, the final ringing of the bell (done wearing disposable gloves), the bagpipes, and remarks by Dr. Thomas López and the two student leadership council presidents.

As always, each member of the Class of 2020 will be individually called to the stage as they are honored in Gordon’s traditional “child by child” way: a unique quote, chosen by the faculty for their diploma, read aloud by their advisor. 

After the quote is shared, the parents of each graduate will join their child to present them with their diploma and a big hug.  

Gordon's campus has been closed since March 13th, and, as Mr. Burnstein said in his letter to parents, "The Class of 2020 will be center stage as this school community takes its first steps towards reconvening at Maxfield Avenue. This Commencement will be a new beginning for all of us."

For health and safety reasons, attendance will be extremely limited. The proceedings will be livestreamed, linked on this page which will be at

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