Seniors tie up loose ends with first-ever drive-thru event


Photo source: Student Activities

This map, provided by Student Activities to senior families, shows the traffic pattern created for seniors so that they could take care of year-end business without leaving their cars, and so that social distancing guidelines could be followed.

Vivian Zhao, Editor-in-Chief

Naperville Central held its first senior drive thru drop-off and pick-up on May 13 as students remain unable to re-enter the building to retrieve personal items, return school property, or pick up graduation-related items due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cars entered off Hillside Road to Redhawk Way, then drove through the bus circle. While remaining in their vehicles,  a small group of Central’s faculty and administrative staff assisted students with dropping off textbooks, library books, art supplies, extracurricular materials and more. An email sent the day before included a drop-off list for students to show the staff at the drive-through, which would assist them in directing students to appropriate stations. 

Seniors then picked up items, including but not limited to cap and gown packages, honor cords, the literary magazine, senior gifts and the graduation and commemorative programs. These depended on what students purchased and/or left at school. 

Thanks to careful planning on the part of school administration led by Lynne Nolan, dean of Student Activities, the process was reported to have run smoothly.

“I showed up, went through two checkpoints and then bam, I got my stuff,” senior Cat Bradley said.

The drive-through was set up for approximately nine hours and began at 8:30 a.m. A spreadsheet separated students alphabetically by last name and assigned each group a time to arrive at Central.

With each shift consisting of small groups of 14-37 students, several seniors noted that the drive-through was efficient and took around five minutes. 

“It went very smoothly,” senior Lizzy Mander said. “I drove up and was immediately told where to go and what to do and there was no wait time at all.”

Some students had the AP Literature and Composition exam during their assigned time slot and were instructed to go to the drive-through at 5:20 p.m.  or the following day.

“I went during the last time stamp because of the AP exam,” senior James Kim said. “There were barely any other students, so it was quick and painless.”

Seniors and their families were additionally reminded to wear masks for safety purposes. Students were asked to complete a drop-off list and print a car window sign, which included the student’s first and last name and ID number, prior to entering the drive-through to minimize verbal communication and potential viral transmission. 

“It was very organized and well planned,” senior Janelle Goon said. “I got everything I needed and dropped off everything I needed to as well. It was also safely done.” 

In addition, a large banner congratulating the Class of 2020 was fixed to the fence beyond the visitor-side bleachers of Memorial Stadium.

 Students may keep their textbooks and Chromebooks until June 9 to use for AP exams and view the awards and commemorative programs. Yearbooks will be mailed directly to students’ homes.