Urban Assembly School for Emergency Management faculty met under the shadow of the Manhattan Bridge early Thursday. Their mission: to finish decorating a float before setting out on a mobile graduation ceremony for 57 students across the city.

The coronavirus pandemic scuttled in-person graduation festivities at schools across the city. The Urban Assembly team was determined to mark the day in a big — and safe — way.

We rode along to capture scenes of a graduation celebration in a year like no other.

Urban Assembly School for Emergency Management faculty and friends gathered under the Manhattan Bridge to put together a graduation float for the class of 2020, June 25, 2020. Hiram Alejandro Durán/THE CITY

Principal Rob Magliaro and co-principal Taina Torres led some staff in setting up the float in the parking lot of the Murry Bergtraum softball field in Lower Manhattan. Magliaro said it took him and teacher Sal Puglisi about 20 hours to organize a route, design a float and distribute all the information needed to make the Thursday and Friday tours possible.

The fleet of UASEM cars make their way through Brooklyn to the first students house, June 25, 2020.Hiram Alejandro Durán/THE CITY

The fleet headed into Brooklyn for initial stops in Flatbush.

Principal, Rob Migliaro, greets Valedictorian, Nefertina Carr, near her home, June 25, 2020. It took Migliaro about 20 hours to organize a route, design a float and distribute all the information needed to make the Thursday and Friday tours possible.Hiram Alejandro Durán/THE CITY

Magliaro greets, Nefertina Carr, near her home.

 “Although we haven’t been able to be in the same physical space, we’ve gotten a lot closer through our virtual study groups, calling and FaceTiming each other," said Tashani Kerr, June 25, 2020. "All parts of this were unexpected but I’m happy with the house everything turned out.”Hiram Alejandro Durán/THE CITY

“Although we haven’t been able to be in the same physical space, we’ve gotten a lot closer through our virtual study groups, calling and FaceTiming each other,” said salutatorian Tashani Kerr.

“All parts of this were unexpected but I’m happy with how everything turned out.”

Brianny Cristostomo was embraced by her parents Bribianny Adames, 37, and Ernesto Cristostomo, 38, after she received her diploma, June 25, 2020. “Today was very very emotional but I felt grateful since I didn’t expect to have a graduation.”Hiram Alejandro Durán/THE CITY

Brianny Cristostomo was embraced by her parents, Bribianny Adames, 37, and Ernesto Cristostomo, 38, after she received her diploma near their Woodhaven home.

“Today was very very emotional, but I felt grateful since I didn’t expect to have a graduation,” Brianny said.

“I was not expecting coronavirus to affect the school system so much,” said UASEM graduate Taquan Allicock outside his Queens home, June 25, 2020.Hiram Alejandro Durán/THE CITY

“I was not expecting coronavirus to affect the school system so much,” Taquan Allicock said outside his Ozone Park home. “ I miss doing all the physical stuff, you know going to classes and seeing your friends in person. I miss AP English the most.”

UASEM faculty and students took a pizza break in Ozone Park during their graduation tour, June 25, 2020.Hiram Alejandro Durán/THE CITY

Famished faculty and students took a pizza break in Ozone Park.

“We all arrived together and planned on leaving together but then out of nowhere COVID-19 comes and wipes all that away,” said UASEM graduate Pedro Figueroa outside his East New York home, June 25, 2020. “The best experience of high school is supposed to be graduation, it’s incredibly frustrating.” Hiram Alejandro Durán/THE CITY

“We all arrived together and planned on leaving together, but then out of nowhere COVID-19 comes and wipes all that away,” Pedro Figueroa said outside his East New York home.

“The best experience of high school is supposed to be graduation, it’s incredibly frustrating.”

“Plus, this is it, seeing the float made me feel like it’s the end of this chapter of my life and the start of the next,” said UASEM graduate Christian Rodriguez, who will study at New York City College of Technology while working on his music career on the side. Hiram Alejandro Durán/THE CITY

“I don’t like attention, so you might imagine how I felt. But I wanted to see my teachers,” Christian Rodriguez said while standing next to his father in East New York.

Rodriguez plans to study at New York City College of Technology while working on his music career.

“Seeing the float made me feel like it’s the end of this chapter of my life and the start of the next,” he said.

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