Several weeks ago we sent out a survey to parents and grads about plans for this year’s graduation ceremony. With the COVID-19 crisis and large gatherings prohibited, we have had to make alternate plans. We have spent the last two weeks going over suggestions from all stakeholders all the while maintaining provisions set out by the Provincial Health Officer. This has not been easy.
Here is the current plan for grad.
Grad gowns will be ordered. Grads will come to the school at a preset time (well before grad day), with parents and family members, if desired. A stage will be set up in the main gym, with a podium and a principal. Students will - put on the grad gown and walk the stage, receiving their diploma cover from the principal. This will be recorded. Parents can take pictures. We will also have the second gym set up for a “Grand March” dance. Grads can have on prom dresses or suits and have a dance with their parents and grandparents if they so desire. We know it isn’t the atmosphere of our traditional Grand March but it will allow for pictures to be taken and parents to at least spend a quiet moment with their child reflecting on the time spent in public school and to celebrate with close family members. Grads can take the grad gown home and have pictures taken with other family members or in back yards etc.
Dignitaries’ speeches will be recorded before Grad Day, along with the Class Historian and Valedictorian, a grad singing O Canada, and a musical number by a grad.
Then on Friday, June 19 - Grad Day, we will live stream the recorded grad ceremony. We will show all the grads walking across the stage, as well as the scholarship awards and recipients. Once that is complete, we will also show a live stream of the reverse parade.
Grads will be positioned around a set parade route (still working on the route with the City and Transportation Ministry) and cars will drive around the route, stopping in the close lane to wave and say hi and take pictures and moving in the outside lane at a leisurely pace. Once that is done, our day will be over. Exact times for the recorded show and the parade are still to be determined. It has been recommended that we have some time between the show and the parade so families can watch the grad ceremony first and then have time (at least an hour) to travel to the parade route.
We will not be postponing the event till a later day. We have no idea when we might be able to host a larger event. It won’t be before school starts in September. Next June will be time for the class of 2021 to graduate and celebrate. Many grads will be off to post-secondary, will move away or will not be interested in participating in a grad ceremony after June. For those that still want the traditional ceremony, we are truly sorry that you will not be able to participate in the traditional ceremony. We know it sucks.
More details will be coming out soon. From all the staff here at NPSS - both ELC and main campus, I would like to thank all the parents and students for your patience, well wishes and commitment to walking through this crisis together! It has been greatly appreciated.