As the end of the 2019-2020 school year comes into focus, the Plateau’s school districts are solidifying graduation plans for the class of COVID-19.
Both the White River and Enumclaw school districts are planning on a virtual celebration — but officials also said they’re holding out hope that there can also be a live ceremony later in the summer.
According to a May 6 letter, White River will be holding its graduation on Tuesday, June 30.
“This event will require significant planning and our intent is to create something that reflects that standard of care that we have been committed to throughout your graduate’s journey,” high school Principal Cody Mothershead wrote. “We also wanted to set a date that gives up options in the event that the phased reopening proceeds without interruption.”
However, ““In the event we have news about possibly being on track for phase 4 of the Governor’s re-opening plan by the end of June, we will hold off from showing the Virtual Graduation with the hope of having an in-person graduation on July 28, 2020 at White River High School,” Mothershead continued.
There still appear to be plans for student performances for either ceremony, but those have yet to be finalized.
Additionally, Assistant Mike Hagadone said yearbooks have been sent to the publisher for printing, and a delivery date will be announced when the printers re-open.
Enumclaw High School has many of the same ideas as their neighbors to the south, holding their virtual ceremony on June 15.
“We’re going to combine a live as well as a virtually-produced presentation together,” said high school Principal Phil Engebretsen, adding that a live speech will be given at city hall by Superintendent Mike Nelson and School Board President Tina McGann, and likely Engebretsen himself. “We’re partnering with Enumclaw City TV — that’s going to help us with that — as well as Jostens, which has put out a platform that really provides some designs for putting on a quality production.”
Jostens is a retailer for graduation caps, gowns, yearbooks, class jewelry, and more.
By partnering with ECTV, the graduation ceremony can be watched by residents inside city limits on channel 21, though a web link will be sent out so others can view the ceremony live or recorded at their leisure.
Engebretsen said the graduation will be viewable on any device.
It appears the ceremony will include a photo of the graduate, a summery of their high school successes, family comments or quotes, as well as class speakers and performances, which have yet to be finalized. The school may also be able to film graduates walking across the stage.
“Our hope is that it will, although it will be virtual, that it will feel very similar to what a graduation would be like if you were attending in person,” Engebretsen continued.
Additionally, a live ceremony may still be held sometime in July, “maybe at our stadium,” Engebretsen added, “but for now, we definitely want to recognize our graduates on their original graduation day with a virtual ceremony.”
Finally, it appears yearbooks will be printed, but they will be delayed in getting out to students, and it’s likely they’ll not be here prior to graduation.
For more information about graduation plans or other senior events, head to the Enumclaw High School webpage at ehs.enumclaw.wednet.edu/student-life/class-of-2020.