At any other point in modern human history, this time of the year would typically bring about graduation ceremonies and banquets honouring senior students who are about to exit high school and enter into the years of their young adulthood.
Then the COVID pandemic rocked our world, and those plans have largely flown out the window.
The last update released by the Sun West School Division on May 22 touched on the state of graduation events. It reads:
“We have received many enquiries about proper protocols allowing for some sort of graduation exercise during this pandemic. The provincial Ministry’s Response Planning Team (RPT) continues to recognize the importance of, and positive impact, that high school graduation ceremonies have on graduates, families, staff and the broader community. It is important to note that, as per the May 6, 2020 RPT update, virtual and online-type ceremonies continue to be recommended. Our health officials are currently working on reviewing guidelines regarding public gatherings, including the use of car-based events in regards to graduation ceremonies. The RPT’s intent is to communicate with you as soon as they receive confirmation on direction from the health officials.”
With grad events put on hold for the time being, Beechy School acknowledged their graduating students in a Facebook post back on May 8, which read:
As today would have been Beechy School’s graduation ceremony, please join us in recognizing Blair Flaterud and Samuel Wiens as this year’s graduates. Please think about them today, as they do not get to experience the usual graduation celebrations. We will be arranging a time in June when we can have them come to the school and receive their scrolls and take a photo in front of the school for the yearbook; however, as per health regulations we cannot have any type of ceremony where the community would congregate. Thank you to our SCC for the beautiful posters of Sam and Blair that are on the front lawn – if you haven’t seen them, be sure to drive by and take a look!”
However, one local school is currently planning to honour its graduating class with an event designed to bring out the support of the community – while still respecting the guidelines of social distancing, of course.
Dinsmore Composite School, which would’ve had its annual prom last month to spotlight the Grade 12 Class of 2020, is making arrangements to try and organize a special day in order to mark the occasion for the exiting students.
A memo to parents published on the DCS website shared that the event will take place on Saturday, June 13, to which the public is invited to watch at a safe distance.
“Mrs. Jones has been working closely with the Prom 2020 committee to plan a memorable day for our four graduating students on Saturday, June 13, 2020. Our graduates this year are: Cole Buchanan, William Norris, Jesse Thorpe, and Dailey Wollen.
The DCS Staff is planning a Grad Convoy to visit the yard of each Graduating Student's family in order to present the formal portion of our traditional grad ceremony to them individually. We will then head to town to enjoy a Grad Parade on the streets of Dinsmore starting at 4 p.m. The public is invited to bring lawn chairs, sit on the sidewalk at an acceptable physical distance from one another, and cheer as loud as possible to celebrate these young people who are graduating in a very unique time.”
In addition to this unique form of highlighting the graduating class of 2020, Dinsmore Composite School hopes to offer a different way to recognize the work done by students with its Student Showcase awards event, with more information on said event coming later this month.
In Outlook, it was learned just this week (after publication of our June 4 print edition) that the public will be able to give well wishes to the 2020 graduating class of Outlook High School with a special event of their own on Saturday, June 20. Please see the image below for all the details.