In 2020, because of the COVID-19 restrictions in place at the time, Summerland Secondary School graduates received their high school diplomas in a series of small ceremonies, attended by a few family members. For 2021, it is not known if any family members will be present for the ceremonies in late June. (Summerland Review file photo)

COVID-19 restrictions to affect Summerland graduation ceremonies

Present ban on indoor gatherings and other restrictions could affect structure of grad

Summerland Secondary School’s upcoming graduation ceremonies will look a lot like last year’s, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with physical distancing and small groups of students receiving their high school diplomas.

Alan Stel, principal of the high school, said details of the ceremonies will depend on the provincial health regulations at the time.

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He expects small groups of seven or eight graduating students to receive their diplomas together, with a few family members present for the event. However, depending on the health regulations, it is not known how many family members, if any, could be present for the small ceremonies on June 28 and 29.

“We are preparing our students and their families that it could be just kids crossing the stage,” Stel said.

At present, indoor gatherings are not allowed under the provincial COVID-19 restrictions. It is not known if these limits will be changed before the school’s graduation ceremonies.

The events will be held at the high school gym and will be filmed. Then, a video showing each student receiving their diplomas will be given to the graduating students.

This year, 104 Grade 12 students are expected to receive their high school diplomas.

Last year, the school held graduation ceremonies over a three-day period, with a video put together to show the entire graduation.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, high school graduation ceremonies were held in the Summerland Arena, with family and friends of the graduating students together to witness the event in person.

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