Most schools going this route; Mount Baker hopes for reality by Aug. 7
WHATCOM — High school graduation in 2020 has an entirely different slant from normal.
In this year of the COVID-19 coronavirus, most local schools will have “virtual” ceremonies over the next two weeks, while trying to be as close to traditional as possible.
Lynden Christian’s graduation ceremony on Thursday, June 4, will be the first of the bunch. Seniors came to the school one-by-one last week in their cap and gown and were filmed receiving their diploma with only immediate family members in attendance.
“Through the magic of video and photo editing, everyone’s walk will be put together so that it will be as if they had all been there at the same time, including a picture with all of them in their seats alongside the stage,” LCHS co-principal Clayton Libolt said.
Lynden’s ceremony will be filmed the morning of Saturday, June 6, including speeches and students walking across the stage. The video will be uploaded to YouTube and available to view at 6 p.m. Friday, June 12.
Meridian will follow a similar pattern, with video scheduled to be shared on June 12. Students will be filmed receiving their diplomas individually this Friday, along with speeches and musical performances.
Nooksack Valley is taking the same approach, with filming set to take place June 10 and the video to be shared on June 12.
Cornerstone Christian has scheduled a Senior Send-off starting at noon this Friday, June 5, at which the graduates will stand on the sidewalk in front of the school to be cheered on by parents, teachers and the community. Cornerstone may try to have a more standard graduation event later in the summer.
Ferndale will film a virtual ceremony on Saturday, June 13, and plans to livestream the filming before releasing the final version on June 20. The school also plans to light up the football stadium at 8:20 p.m. (20:20) June 12, the last day of school for seniors, for students and parents to drive past. Other schools in the county had done this earlier in the spring.
Mount Baker’s graduation ceremony is scheduled for Aug. 7, in the hope that state coronavirus restrictions have been lifted enough by then that the school can host a regular gathering. For now, the school is making plans for three types of ceremony — virtual, socially distanced or not socially distanced — depending on where Whatcom County is in the state’s four-phase plan for reopening.