Ecole St. Mary graduation going ahead in virtual form

Caleb Hammond delivers the valedictory address during the 2020 St. Mary High School virtual graduation on June 25, 2020. YouTube screencapture.

Graduation at Ecole St. Mary will be in another new format because of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the Prince Albert Catholic School Division board of education regular meeting on Monday director of education Lorel Trumier gave trustees an update on what would be happening for 2021.

Trumier explained that this year’s format will be following the guidelines which were released by the province.

“We are graduating one of the largest groups we have ever graduated in the history of St. Mary and that’s exciting for a lot of students,” Trumier said.

According to Trumier they are expecting around 230 graduates in the Class of 2021. The approach looks to be balanced between COVID-19 restrictions and allowing the experience of graduation to still happen.

“So what we are doing is prerecording. Every student will have the ability to come into the school, they are going to receive a cap and gown that they are going to be able to keep. I am excited by that because then their families beyond the school can participate or take pictures with them and do the things that families do on graduation days,” Trumier said.

Students and six guests will then go to a gym location with a stage to receive their diploma. Family will be away from staff while this occurs.

“They will have an appointment-based time to come and get a diploma and they can take the pictures of their child or children at that time,” she explained.

Students will then be part of what Trumier calls a parade for graduates where they go out the front door and throw their cap and celebrate their accomplishments.

“And the families are permitted to bring up to three cars where there can only be one household in that car at a time. So a little bit of an experience there for those students,” she explained.

She explained that this is going to take place over the next few weeks and the virtual presentation will debut on June 23 on the school and school division website.

“We are trying to give students an experience, it may not be what they all wanted or anticipated and I appreciate that because we are trying to really balance public health measures and for the appropriate measures to keep everyone safe, students and families included,” Trumier said.

She explained that families anywhere in the province and across Canada will have the opportunity to watch the graduation.

“ And you know our children down the line will be able to know that they did have an experience and they did have a ceremony,” Trumier said.

There will be a prerecording of the speech of the Bishop, board chair, Valedictorian and Salutatorian un advance of June 23.

“That way students will still have all of the pieces,” Trumier said.

Awards will be announced on June 23 to celebrate the accomplishments of the Class of 2021.