St. Timothy High School which is part of the Calgary Catholic School Board here in Cochrane is thinking about graduation. They are putting on their creative thinking caps and brainstorming ideas for this year’s celebration for the graduands. Of course, the plans must be flexible in order to adapt to the fluid landscape of the pandemic world we now live in.

The first step taken by St. Timothy High School was to move the graduation date that is typically in May to the end of June. As principal Rhonda Wolske explains, “We’re hoping that we might have less restrictions at that point and that might give us a little more flexibility.”

Last year, St. Timothy did a drive-thru graduation. This year, again depending on the regulations they are thinking of an outdoor gathering if allowed. Or perhaps a drive-in which was not allowed last year but could be this year. Wolske says the location of their school would be conducive to that scenario. “Especially with our school field and having the area that we have we might be able to do that. Maybe create an outdoor stage so that the kids can still maybe walk the stage. A lot of our students are already buying their grad dresses and grad suits.”

Wolske says it is about acknowledging and celebrating the kids and there is no shortage of creative ideas in which to do that. Maybe one family at a time, or a drive-in with designated areas for families in the field. Nothing is finalized as they wait to see what happens, the name of the game in the world we now live in.  St. Timothy, being a catholic school would like very much to have their priest attend the ceremony and an outdoor ceremony may work for that too.

There is no shortage of ideas, it is just a matter of putting them into action once the guidelines are clear. 

Bow Valley High School and Cochrane High School of course fall under the Rocky View Schools jurisdiction. When asked what the plans were their written statement was as follows.

“Graduation is an exciting time for Grade 12 students and their families – and for our RVS high school administration, teachers, and staff! We are planning for a few scenarios that would recognize our graduands while following health guidelines and restrictions. Our students and families have expressed their preference for in-person ceremonies, and we will hold off on deciding on the format to see if this is possible depending on how the pandemic and restrictions evolve. The unfortunate reality of the pandemic means we should prepare for a graduation ceremony that may not be what we would have envisioned for our students. Safety is always our priority and we will need to be creative in how we celebrate our students’ achievements and this important milestone. Schools will share more information with students and families once a decision has been made. “ 

Once again, only time will tell how all the ceremonies will look…

Perhaps in a month or so it will be possible to check back and see if ideas and plans have been finalized.