As another school year comes to a close during the pandemic, Surrey secondary schools are finding creative ways once again to celebrate their graduates.
While last year’s grads were also unable to have normal celebrations, the 2021 grads have been unable to have any large-scale events throughout the 2020-21 school year.
“We know this is not the celebration that our grads had envisioned. This year’s graduating students had to forgo all of their large-scale grad events that occur throughout the year like the large assemblies, grad cruises, dances, camping,” said Laurie Larsen, board of education chair.
“So our schools were really committed to making these commencement ceremonies meaningful for students and their families, while at the same time being consistent with recommendations from health experts, and balancing the comfort level and needs of our school communities.”
At Fleetwood Park, students were able to attend a small in-person ceremony of grads in groups of four with specific time slots. They were able to walk through the school, stop for grad photos and photos with up to four members of their household and then walk across the stage as their family looked on.
Earl Marriott partnered with Peace Portal Alliance Church, allowing students to walk across the stage with their cohorts.
Salish Secondary is planning drive-thru ceremonies where students will be able to drive through the parking lot with their family, exit the vehicle and then walk on a red carpet.
Larsen said the district has more than 6,000 Grade 12 students in the district’s 20 secondary schools and five learning centres.
“Each and every one of our students will have an opportunity to safely cross the stage in their cap and gown to accept their diploma,” she noted.
“Our schools were committed to finding a safe way to celebrate our grads, and each of our principals, vice-principals, teachers and other school-based staff worked tirelessly on these plans to ensure this year’s commencement ceremonies were meaningful and safe celebrations for each of our grads and their families.”
— Sunny Deol (@SunnyDeolSD36) June 11, 2021
— Aileen Kinsella (@ACKinsella) June 3, 2021
Celebrating the milestone of graduation is important — even during a pandemic! 🎓 Read about how our schools are making ceremonies special for students: https://t.co/ljyYZzlpqB#sd36learn #SurreyBC #WhiteRockBC #bced pic.twitter.com/IVREBfABMT
— Surrey Schools (@Surrey_Schools) June 2, 2021
Grads of 2021… presenting your Class Valedictorian Justin Leung and your Class Historian Abbie Dube (with her personalized by Ms Smith historian stole!)
— Clayton Heights (@chslearn) June 8, 2021
— White Rock Learning Centre RAVENS (@RavensWrlc) June 12, 2021
— Sunny Deol (@SunnyDeolSD36) June 9, 2021