Graduation ceremonies throughout Mountain View School Division will have an air of familiarity this spring, as the division has cleared school to return to in-person convocations.
Over the last couple of years graduation exercises across MVSD have been “different”, said MVSD superintendent Dan Ward, with formats such as drive-through ceremonies, outdoor events or grad parades promoting the social distancing requirements of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ve always made our decisions guided by the public health guidance of the day,” Ward said. “In reviewing the public health guidance as it stands right now, we felt comfortable moving ahead with in-person grads and really a return to normal so to speak. The grads will have the look and feel of grads pre-COVID.”
Ward added there are elements of the pandemic years grads which will have been adopted going forward. For instance, most communities will continue to have a grad parade following the ceremonies, he said.
“And some of our schools, including Dauphin, are looking at live streaming the events, knowing that there could still be some family members of our graduates that don’t feel comfortable coming to a large in-person event. Maybe they have a family member who’s immunocompromised or maybe they’re immunocompromised themselves, so they’ll still have that opportunity in particular at some of our larger schools for the live stream,” Ward said. “And we’re still going to recognize our grads in local publications like we’ve done in the past because we felt that was very well received in terms of having the grad pictures and write-ups from our six high school principals and our board.”
All six high schools in the division have decided to return to in-person convocations. Gilbert Plains will kickoff the schedule with its traditional Friday night graduation, June 17, followed the next day by Ethelbert and Grandview. The following week, Dauphin Regional comprehensive Secondary School, Winnipegosis and Goose Lake High in Roblin will have their graduations.
“Most of our communities are participating in the safe grad initiative this year, as well. By and large those safe grads are happening following the actual convocation event. That’s something that, of course, has been around for some time to ensure that our graduates are safe and can celebrate their accomplishment in a safe way,” Ward said. “We’re still going to emphasize good hand hygiene and masks are certainly welcome for those that choose to wear them. We’re encouraging any family members who are symptomatic to stay away, and if their school has that live stream option to use that option instead.”
Ward added a complete listing of graduation dates, venues and time will soon be available on the division website at www.mvsd.ca. A list of elementary and middle school year-end events will also be available.