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Graduates face unique ceremony


This week will mark a unique time for graduating high school classes in the community.
While grad ceremonies are usually flush with dozens of graduates, each walking across the stage to a cheering entourage, surrounded by well-wishers and photoseekers, the day to be capped with a celebration involving hundreds of people, this year will be a much different celebration.
Graduates at both Oscar Lathlin Collegiate (OLC) and Margaret Barbour Collegiate Institute (MBCI) will see their graduating ceremony held in smaller sections, and will received support from the community but from outside instead of in their respective gymnasium or hall.
At MBCI, students will celebrate on Friday, with a rain delay date of Saturday if need be. Three separate ceremonies will be held as the grad class will be divided into three to help meet social distancing protocols, each for one hour. The first ceremony will run from noon until 1:00 p.m., the second from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and the third from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Students will arrive in cars and exit the vehicle from the driver’s side, and return to the vehicle after the ceremony in the same door they exited from. The graduates will move to the far entrance of the parking lot closest to Scott Bateman Middle School and be lined up two meters apart, moving through the designated area in alphabetical order.
While family members can exit the vehicle as well, they cannot take pictures. The school has designated an official grad photographer for photos and some staff will be on hand to livestream and record the event.
For OLC, grads will receive their diplomas, certificates, bursaries, gifts and awards. on the 26th as well, with students to walk in through the northwest side of the school’s gym and walk through the outside gym doors, receiving their certifications and then exiting on the northeast side of the gym. Families will be permitted to take pictures after they exit the gym.
A livestream of the graduation as well as a recording will also be made and a video will be provided afterwards.
According to a letter from OLC Principal Ron Constant, a group celebration is being planned for when it will be safe to do so, but no timeframe was given.
Graduation photos have already been done, both by a professional service brought in for students, as well as being offered locally for both graduation classes by Northland Ford, who allowed students to take pictures inside classic vehicles.

Trent Allen