Graduation will look different at Golden Secondary/Golden Alternate School this year.
The 2020 Commencement Ceremony will held over two days, Wednesday June 24 and Thursday June 25, in order to limit the size of the gathering.
Both events will start at 6 p.m. It will be a live streamed event — instead of the audience being gathered in one place, everyone is invited to watch it online from home.
The ceremony will be recorded and archived for anyone who can’t watch it live so they can still see the grad ceremony.
There will also be a professional photographer present, capturing each grad’s special moment.
Hours of collaboration went into the planning process, said Golden Secondary School principal Steve Wyer.
“We held off planning an event until we had the most up- to-date information about restrictions we were working with, despite seeing other schools around the province cancel earlier events,” said Wyer.
“We did not want to contemplate the possibility of outright cancellation.”
The planned ceremony aligns with the limitations for public gatherings imposed by the provincial health officer.
Students were consulted, who decided together they would like to have a graduation inclusive of as many peers as possible and to live stream it for family at home.
“It was a tough decision for them and I’m proud of the way they approached this model,” said Wyer.
“The significance of an in-person ceremony is meaningful to the graduates.
“Personally, it is important for me and for other staff as well to celebrate and honour the grads in-person.”
The grads will arrive at the event, in caps and gowns, according to a event schedule
Grads will then be space seated in the gym, to be called up one by one to receive their certificate, a gift and any scholarships or bursaries individuals may have been awarded.
The staggered format will prevent large gatherings at the main entrance.
“We are basing our safety precautions on our public health risk assessment that our buildings are safe places to be when we rely on the personal measures people take and the operational safety we have in place,” said Wyer.
There will be a baby photo montage and there will be speeches, including the traditional one by the class valedictorian along with the class historians.
As large gatherings are not permitted, a prom dance will not be possible this year.
In lieu of that special event, grads will all receive a $50 gift card to a restaurant of their choice so they can celebrate a monumental day in their lives with family and friends.