Graduating students at Summerland Secondary School were set up for their graduation pictures in several phases. The students were arranged using physical distancing protocols for a series of photographs. The images will then be merged together to form a group image of the graduates. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

Graduating students at Summerland Secondary School were set up for their graduation pictures in several phases. The students were arranged using physical distancing protocols for a series of photographs. The images will then be merged together to form a group image of the graduates. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

YEAR IN REVIEW: Summerland graduation restructured to follow COVID-19 restrictions

Graduates received diplomas over a three-day period, but video of complete ceremony also released

Although their final school year was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, students from Summerland Secondary School received their diplomas in late June.

Instead of a large ceremony, as had been done in past years, the school held a series of small ceremonies in the high school gym, over three days, to present the diplomas to the 110 graduating students.

Alan Stel, principal of the high school, said a grad committee made up of parents and teachers organized the ceremonies.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Summerland graduates receive diplomas

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Active graduate receives Summerland Secondary School’s top honour

“They were able to completely transform this space. The details came together well.”

The small ceremonies were all recorded on video, and the videos were then combined. The full graduation video was posted online on Friday, June 26, the day the school would have normally held graduation ceremonies.

Other graduation-themed events were also able to continue, although with considerable changes.

On Thursday, June 25, small groups of students marched along Main Street in the annual graduation parade. The restrictions in place at the time allowed for gatherings of no more than 50 people.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Graduating students parade through Summerland

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Summerland grads receive diplomas

Debbie Patterson, co-chair of the committee, said the parades lasted an hour and a half, beginning at 3 p.m. Graduates were spaced two metres apart, in three stages, while family and friends watched and cheered from the sidewalk. The street was closed to traffic during that time.

“We the Summerland 2020 Dry Grad Committee, are trying to give our grads a memory that is in compliance with provincial health regulations,” Patterson said.

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