While the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCDCD) is easing up on some restrictions on travel and gathering, schools are still guided by the Ministry of Education.
As such, any easing of restrictions will not have an impact on what will be Selkirk Secondary’s second virtual grad in a row on Friday, June 18, 2021.
The Ministry has outlined four different options for graduation ceremonies this year, those being a drive-thru ceremony where students and spectators attend in a vehicle; a learning group ceremony, where up to 120 students can gather with no spectators; a travelling road show ceremony where school staff travel to students’ homes for outdoor ceremonies; and individual ceremonies where the student, four guests and staff are present.
Scott Sharun, Vice Principal of Selkirk, said that grads were consulted on which options they preferred, and it was decided to do a combination of a learning group and individual ceremonies.
“We proposed the drive thru and the kids said no way; they don’t want their diploma handed through a car window,” he said.
He said the travelling road show was also rejected by students because they want to be with their fellow grads at this important moment.
Selkirk has a relatively small graduating class of 75 students, so the learning group option is entirely doable, and will also allow for some Grade 12 teachers to be present. However, no parents will attend.
At this short ceremony, which will be held in the gym at 2 p.m., students will watch a pre-recorded address from the Principal, Superintendent and Mayor, a teacher tribute video and the Valedictorian speech.
Next at 2:30 will be a live streamed graduation ceremony. From 4 to 6 p.m. parents can come up to the school for an opportunity to have a professional portrait taken outdoors with their grad.
Students will also be allowed to take their cap and gowns home for the weekend for pictures.
Sharun says that under the less than ideal circumstances, it’s the best they could do, and they think they have done what they can to make it a memorable ceremony.
The Friday ceremony is the only school -sanctioned grad event, but parents are organizing a reverse grad parade on Saturday, June 19 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Rotary Drive from McKim School to the Civic Centre. The road will be closed to one way traffic and the community is invited to drive by and wave to the grads who will be lined up, socially distanced, on the sidewalk.
The parade is being organized by Robyn Wardle, who is looking for volunteers to direct traffic and watch that social distancing is being followed. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to help out.