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Thursday, December 7, 2023
Dec. 7, 2023

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Clark County high school graduations to come in several forms

School districts planning virtual, drive-thru events, delayed in-person walks

By , Columbian Education Reporter

Clark County school districts are setting their plans for high school graduation, preparing for some semblance of ceremony in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

While some districts have opted for virtual ceremonies, others are holding out hope that they can gather for an in-person celebration later this summer when restrictions on gatherings could loosen.

Here’s a list of each district’s plan for graduating seniors:

Evergreen Public Schools

Evergreen Public Schools will host a series of virtual graduations for high school seniors, presented throughout June. The district may also offer in-person events later in the summer, depending on social distancing restrictions.

“I know this is not how you imagined finishing your senior year,” Superintendent Mike Merlino said in an email to families. “I want you to know we are doing everything we can to make this milestone special for you.”

Vancouver Public Schools

Vancouver Public Schools has opted to wait to hold in-person graduation ceremonies, tentatively scheduled for August. District spokeswoman Pat Nuzzo said the district polled its students, who said they preferred an in-person ceremony over virtual graduations.

Battle Ground Public Schools

Like Evergreen, Battle Ground Public Schools will conduct a series of virtual graduations. The district is also offering a sort of drive-thru graduation ceremony, with students picking up their diplomas on the date their graduation ceremony would have been held, district spokeswoman Rita Sanders said.

Camas School District

Camas’ two high schools are planning virtual graduation ceremonies in June, with plans in the words for in-person ceremonies in August, spokeswoman Doreen McKercher said.

Hockinson School District

Hockinson High School will host a virtual graduation ceremony on June 11, as well as an in-person ceremony when it’s safe to do so.

Ridgefield School District

Ridgefield High School will hold a blended graduation on June 5, with a virtual ceremony, a car parade and a socially distanced walk across the stage. Plans are still being established to ensure that can happen safely, Principal Christen Palmer said in a letter to families.

“Seniors, we heard you when you said you wanted to wear your cap and gown, walk across a stage and get a diploma,” Palmer said. “We are committed to making that happen in a way that adheres to the social distancing guidelines and keeps everyone’s safety and health at the forefront of our graduation planning.”

Washougal School District

Washougal High School is planning a virtual ceremony on June 6, and an in-person ceremony later in the summer. The district is also planning a car parade for students on June 5.

La Center School District

La Center High School is planning a senior parade on June 13 through the city. The La Center Police Department will mark off a parade route and guide the cars through downtown. The high school is also tentatively planning an in-person ceremony on Aug. 1, with families and graduates spread out in the football field and stands.

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