Written by Skylar Shipp (News Writer)
After a difficult year, things are finally starting to return to normal. Due to the drastic drop in COVID-19 cases and increased vaccination rates, SLVHS is able to do an in-person graduation this year as well as an exciting in-person grad night celebration.
The graduation ceremony will take place on the football field from 10:00-11:30 AM. Part of the field will be sectioned off for a guest seating area, and, for those that prefer, the home bleachers will also be open for guest seating. It should be noted that only chairs with sled-style legs are allowed since pointed legs will damage the field. Guests can also bring a blanket to sit on instead. Seating begins at 8:30 AM and is first-come, first-serve. Those who cannot sit on the bleachers or field will be able to sit in chairs on the track.
Even though the event is outdoors, masks and social distancing are still required and each graduate is only allowed to bring four guests. The administration has been clear that the number of guests per person cannot exceed four for any reason. For those that are unable to attend, the ceremony will be live-streamed. In an email sent out earlier this month, Mr. Calden included the Livestream link and instructions on how to join:
“You will have to create a free account: Click the Link to your school page. Click “FOLLOW” towards the top right of the page.
Click “Sign up for Free!” Create your account by entering in your first name, last name, email address, and password. Click “Continue”.
The celebration doesn’t end with the ceremony. At 1:45, seniors meet at Roaring Camp to take the train to the Boardwalk, which will be closed to most other guests except for SLV students. The Grad Night informational email from Mr. Calden says that “students will enjoy rides, games, activities, and dinner”.
After the end of such a difficult year, it is very exciting to have some semblance of normalcy. While our Seniors have missed out on a lot of celebrations and activities that are important parts of the high school experience, some important events, like prom, were still able to happen. With even more progress being made in the fight against COVID-19, and the full reopening of California set for June 15, seniors will also have a great summer to look forward to.
Lockdown has been a difficult experience for many seniors, so I reached out to a few seniors for comments on how their year went. Griffin Hardisty said, “Being in lockdown was pretty difficult for me, and it was, and still is, a mix of peaks and valleys, and just hanging in there. Even though there were many things to benefit from being at home, I just wasn’t used to such a quick change in atmosphere.” SLV Senior Zachary Stretch also commented on how this has been a hard year, “One of the biggest challenges I have faced during this lockdown was staying mentally healthy, the constant online exposure and lack of human interaction have not been healthy.”
Graduation is an important milestone for seniors, and an in-person graduation is even more necessary after such a difficult year. When asked about in-person graduation Zach said, “I think an in-person graduation is great, it really helps make up for the whole online classes thing.” Griffin also emphasized the importance of this graduation ceremony, saying, “I feel very happy about having graduation in person, and it will probably feel really good to have that closure, as well as some tangible graduation that I made it this far.”
It has not been an easy year for the Class of 2021, with over a year of lockdown and one of the most competitive college admissions years in history. Luckily, things are finally getting better, and we will be able to have an in-person graduation to celebrate the end of an unprecedented year.