New ways to graduate in 2020

IN PERSON GRADUATIONS won’t be common this year. Above, Bolsa Grande High students in procession in 2017 (OC Tribune photo).

Area school districts will deal with effects of the coronavirus on traditional high school commencement exercises in non-traditional ways.

Garden Grove Unified School District will host virtual high school graduation ceremonies on June 11-12 to celebrate more than 3,300 students in the graduating Class of 2020 from the district’s eight high schools.

With the help of Hollywood producers and VEGO Pictures, each high school will host a virtual livestream ceremony or Gradcast complete with inspirational speeches from students, principals and board members, performances, and an interactive chat feature.

Students and families will receive a ParentSquare message including a log-in link and password to a custom livestream ceremony website allowing them to watch and engage in the celebration.

With unlimited log-ins, students can invite countless relatives and friends to be part of the ceremony and watch safely from the comfort of their homes on any device with internet access. All students will receive a digital file of the ceremony as a memorable keepsake. For those who miss the livestream experience, ceremony videos will be available to view on the district’s YouTube channel.

Once restrictions on public gatherings are lifted and large gatherings such as graduation which include thousands of people in a stadium are allowed, the district will survey senior students and parents on possible postponement dates and next steps.  In the interim, the GGUSD – which serves most of Garden Grove and parts of Anaheim, Cypress, Fountain Valley, Santa Ana, Stanton and Westminster – will honor and celebrate graduates on their designated graduation day.

In the Huntington Beach Union High School District – generally serving Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley, Midway City and Westminster – the graduations will be held on Wednesday, June 10 and Thursday, June 11­ ­– at the various campuses. They will be no-contact “drive-thru” events, “individual and safe graduation ceremon[ies] that align with the state’s social distancing guidelines,” according to Cheryl McKenzie, public information coordinator for the HBUHSD.

Set for June 10 will be commencement at Huntington Beach, Ocean View, Westminster, Fountain Valley and Valley Vista high schools. On June 11, it’ll be Marina and Edison high schools.

In the Orange Unified School District – which serves Garden Grove residents east of Haster Street – there will be virtual graduations in June, with a plan to hold traditional ceremonies in July, depending on social distancing mandates.

Orange High, which serves that slice of East Garden Grove, would have its virtual ceremony on June 11, and its traditional event Wednesday, July 29 at 7 p.m. at Fred Kelly Stadium on the El Modena High campus.






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