On the first day of finalizing arrangements, 90 graduates of the Bow Valley High School had confirmed they will be attending an outdoor modified graduation cap and gown ceremony being organized by a parent ad hoc committee on June 20.

Approval has been given to hold the ceremony at the Spring Hill RV Park, just north of town. Rocky View Schools is not involved in organizing the ceremony. 

Parent ad hoc committee chair Kristen Holt was determined to find a way for their children to cross the stage.

"I think from the very beginning I just said I wasn't going to quit until this happened. I obviously had doubts along the way--we had quite a few roadblocks--but I told my son I made you a promise and I'm going to follow through on that. I'm not going to quit until we get it."

"These kids have lost a lot this year, and this is something that is right of passage. It's for the parents, too. We need to see them walk that stage and send them off to the next stage of life."

In the end, they had a choice of approved venues after the town also approved their application to use the Mitford Park.

"The town was incredible in backing our play and was just moving mountains to make it happen. Fortunately, we did have two options and this one was just a little bit better being in a less public area."

While the school and Rocky View School Division are not allowed to be involved in any of the planning, the teachers can attend the event. Initially, the committee was lead to believe teachers couldn't, but that has since been clarified.

"The grads will be happy to see some of their favourite grade 12 teachers there," says Holt.

Now the push is on to make sure all 157 graduating students are aware of the ceremony. 

"The idea right now is to reach out to the ones that may not be on Facebook or haven't heard that this is happening. We want to make sure every single grad is invited and knows the details. Then they can make their own informed decision from there."

The high school is holding a virtual ceremony on June 29. Holt says they are strongly encouraging the grads to watch it.

"I think the teachers and principal worked very hard to put something very unique together for our unique class."