Graduation includes both in-person and virtual ceremonies

Keianah Weakland

Sandy High seniors and their families were surprised to find out that the class of 2021 will have an in-person graduation ceremony. With all of the uncertainties Covid-19 has brought, many students were worried about having a drive-thru or virtual graduation.

Fortunately, on May 13, SHS released a Virtual Senior Meeting on StudentSquare and the Sandy High website. In this virtual meeting, students found out what the plans for graduation will be. 

“I am so excited to see all of the students who participate in the ceremony. The graduating class has shown so much grit and perseverance; they deserve to be recognized and celebrated,” Assistant Principal Sarah Dorn said.

In order to participate in the graduation ceremony, students must have a cap and gown, be academically and financially cleared, and must participate in the mandatory graduation rehearsal. The rehearsal will be the morning of the graduation, on June 18 at 11 a.m. at the SHS baseball field.

“I’m so thankful that our district and community are supportive of this celebration,” Dorn said.

On the day of graduation after the mandatory graduation rehearsal, students will need to check-in at the baseball field at 5 p.m. in their cap and gown. Students will check in with security and will not be able to leave until after the graduation ceremony. Also at 5 p.m., guests will be able to start arriving and masks are required. At 6 p.m., the ceremony will begin.

Four tickets and two parking passes will be given to each graduate after being both academically and financially cleared. 

“As you know, guidance from Governor Brown, OHA and ODE has been changing often. We will follow whatever guidance is in place at the time of our ceremony,” Dorn said.

Masks are required to be worn by all students, staff, and families throughout the duration of the ceremony. Students will be able to remove their mask before walking across the stage, and will be required to wear it after their photograph. Food and beverages will not be allowed for graduates or the audience due to Covid-19 guidelines.

There will also be a virtual graduation ceremony on June 19 at 6 p.m. for friends and family who were unable to attend the in-person graduation. There will be a Virtual Evening of Excellence and Senior Awards Night held virtually at 7 p.m. on June 2.

As of May 20, SHS posted FAQ and Graduation Information to StudentSquare, where they state “Based on recently updated guidance from the Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Department of Education, face coverings are no longer required at outdoor graduation ceremonies. However, physical distancing and capacity restrictions still apply.”

“We will communicate with students, families and the community regarding guidelines as the date approaches. We will use StudentSquare, ParentSquare, Facebook and Instagram,” Dorn said.

Although there are some uncertainties for the class of 2021’s graduation, people are focusing on the positive. There will be an in-person graduation ceremony, students will have friends and family in the audience, have the ability to walk across a stage, and celebrate with their classmates.

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