Graduates at J.L. Crowe will celebrate an unforgettable year and receive their diplomas on stage in a ceremony at the Trail high school this weekend.
The salute to Grad 2021 will start Saturday morning (June 19) with each Grade 12A and 12B learning groups heading into the gym at their respective times to commemorate their accomplishment.
“The convocation is always school determined,” said Aaron McKenzie, Crowe principal, noting 2021 has many more COVID regulations to adhere to than last year.
“Just to be safer what we’re doing is not having parents here, but putting the learning group together.”
With the June 15 relaxing of restrictions, up to 50 people can gather indoors or 10 per cent of capacity for larger arenas, theatres, churches, and gymnasiums. For the Crowe gymnasium the capacity is 1,200 people, but given there are approximately 150 grads, they all couldn’t attend at the same time. Instead, they will graduate with their respective learning groups.
“At 9 a.m. Saturday morning, the grads of 12A are going to come in and we’re going to have a bigger stage set up in our gymnasium with that big backdrop,” said McKenzie.
“We are trying to make it as formal as possible.”
Then, approximately 75 students from the 12B learning group will follow at around 1 p.m., once the seats and other amenities are sanitized.
Last year’s ceremony had graduates enter a room separately with up to four family members in attendance. However, the June 2020 convocation was prior to mandatory masks and rigorous gathering and social-distancing restrictions.
This year parents can watch the ceremony live online and receive an edited copy of the convocation to follow. In addition, graduates can keep their caps and gowns for family photos and small grad celebrations after the ceremony.
“We can’t have any community gathering whatsoever,” McKenzie said. “That’s one of the reasons why this works well.”
Despite the difficult year and constant pandemic protocol changes, McKenzie is proud of the way Crowe students handled the fluctuating COVID climate, and suggests the graduates are even more prepared than ever.
“They’re doing great, they’re being flexible,” McKenzie said.
“And I’m so impressed with the kids, they are just heads down getting to work.”