NEWTON, MASS. (WHDH) - In the age of the coronavirus pandemic, it takes creativity to hold events and group gatherings that everyone once took for granted. A small school in Newton showed its innovation on Wednesday, holding a tailgate-style celebration in the parking lot for graduating students to guard against the spread of COVID-19.

Faculty and staff at Jackson Walnut Park School banded together to arrange a special send-off for students instead of resorting to a virtual graduation.

“They really, really wanted to be together and see each other,” Headmaster Stepehn Duffy told 7NEWS. “A virtual graduation wasn’t going to cut it.”

Anran Liu, a sixth-grade graduate, added, “It’s a really safe way to do it, so it’s great. It’s still safe because it’s still social distancing.

Cars with Class of 2020 decorations backed into parking spots and some families sat in lawn chairs.

“It’s really cool. I still get to see my friends for one more time,” another student said.

Duffy said the day was especially meaningful for the parents of the graduates.

“They’ve seen their children suffering at home, alone on their computers,” he explained. “To be able to come together and celebrate this, it’s a real gift to them.”

A total of 18 graduates took part in the ceremony.

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