North Olympic Peninsula high schools are using virtual ceremonies, parades incorporating social distancing and other creative methods to honor 2020 graduates despite COVID-19 precautions.
Port Townsend and Port Angeles will stage their events tonight. On Saturday, Chimacum, Quilcene, Crescent and Forks high schools will conduct ceremonies. Sequim’s ceremony will be on June 19. Officials with Cape Flattery School District, which includes Clallam Bay and Neah Bay high schools, could not be reached for comment on their plans.
Schools were closed in March to slow the spread of COVID-19. Teaching has been done remotely since then.
Most district officials have worked to include a public participation component in their ceremonies that includes taking recommended precautions.
• Port Townsend High School’s Senior Serpentine parade will begin at 3:45 p.m. at Blue Heron Middle School and parade through town to the Wheel-In Drive-In for a graduation ceremony at 4 p.m.
Graduates are asked to sit in the passenger seat of each car so they can be recognized as they roll through town from the middle school at 3939 San Juan Ave., to the drive-in at 210 Theatre Road.
• Port Angeles High School’s ceremony will be virtual, while student parents on their own have organized a Graduation Car Parade.
At 7:30 p.m., PAHS will post a pre-recorded video to its website at pahs.portangelesschools.org and social media to honor its graduating class.
Earlier today, the car parade will begin at 1:30 p.m. at Ediz Hook, staying in the right lane, and travel up First Street to make a right turn on Race Street to continue to the four-way stop. It will turn onto Park Street and go to the front of the high school.
The car parade is not sponsored by the Port Angeles High School Board or the district.
• Lincoln High School will livestream at 6 p.m. a graduation ceremony on its website at https://lincoln.portangelesschools.org/, at https://youtu.be/nKAdQNuAaMg and on the district website at https://portangelesschools.org/.
• Chimacum Senior High will conduct a parade and small ceremony at 1 p.m. at the school at 91 West Valley Road.
Students will be driven up to receive their diplomas one at a time.
A virtual ceremony will be online at www.csd49.org.
• Quilcene High School will conduct a drive-in-style ceremony on baseball fields at 294715 U.S. Highway 101 at 8 p.m.
Graduating seniors will park their cars in the infield facing the outfield while guests will be parked in the outfield.
• Crescent School in Joyce will award diplomas in a drive-in-style ceremony in the lower parking lot of the Crescent School District at 50350 Highway 112 at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
Diplomas will be awarded in alphabetical order in groups of five at a time.
Some announcements of congratulations via Live Stream on Facebook and Zoom will be able to be heard in the parking lot via the internet. Those who lack internet access at the ceremony will be provided access in the parking lot to Zoom and Facebook. The district will provide the school internet password and the Zoom link.
At 5 p.m., a video of the ceremony will be released on the district’s Facebook page.
• Forks High School officials will conduct a parade with a brief stop at the front of the high school at 261 Spartan Ave., for the graduates to get their diplomas individually and have their photos taken while their accomplishments and future plans are announced.
The parade will begin at 2 p.m.
• Sequim High School, with a graduating class of just over 200, will conduct a drive-in ceremony at 250 Center Park Way at 6 p.m. June 19.
• Sequim’s Olympic Peninsula Academy, an alternative learning program within the district, will host a relatively small drive-by ceremony for its five students at the Sequim High School stadium on West Fir Street today.