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Summerland Secondary School plans for full graduation

Ceremonies in 2020 and 2021 were modified because of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions
The graduation ceremonies in 2020 and 2021 were modified because of the COVID-19 pandemic. For 2022, Summerland Secondary School is planning a traditional graduation ceremony, to be held on June 27. (Summerland Review file photo)

For the first time since 2019 organizers at Summerland Secondary School are planning to hold a full graduation ceremony, with all graduates, parents and dignitaries able to attend together.

Alan Stel, principal of the high school, said this year’s graduation is expected to be held at the Summerland Arena on Monday, June 27 beginning at 11 a.m. After a two-hour program, a social opportunity will follow.

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A total of 97 Grade 12 students are expected to graduate this year, he said.

In addition to the graduation ceremony, a parade of graduates, the grand march and the prom will be held on Saturday, June 25. The Dry Grad after-party, organized by parents, is also in the works, Stel said.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic graduation ceremonies were modified in 2020 and in 2021. Instead of a full event at the Summerland Arena, smaller, more intimate ceremonies were held in the high school gym. Stel said these graduation ceremonies required significant work as small groups of students received their diplomas over several days.

While the plan is to hold a full graduation this year, Stel said that could change if another wave of the pandemic results in new limits to gatherings.

“We could pivot or turn if we need to,” he said.

During the two years of the pandemic, the school made numerous changes, including online learning, smaller groups of students and following the provincial mask mandates.

The provincial mask mandates, in place to slow the spread of the pandemic, were lifted in late March, but Stel said 15 to 20 per cent of students and staff at the high school are still wearing masks.

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John Arendt

About the Author: John Arendt

John Arendt has worked as a journalist for more than 30 years. He has a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Journalism degree from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute.
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