The year 2020 will be certainly be one for the books, perhaps even more so for this year’s high school seniors. Graduating in the midst of a global pandemic presents numerous questions and challenges, but schools in Southwest Washington are getting creative to make the most of the current situation by holding ceremonies in less traditional formats. Local high schools have been working closely with parents and students to ensure that this year’s graduating seniors get the celebration they deserve after 13 years of hard work.
While most districts have opted to hold virtual versions of graduation ceremonies, others have also made plans to hold celebrations in person at a date later in the summer, in hopes that social distancing restrictions allow for such events by that time. To keep up with the details of your district’s graduation plans, make sure visit to their website or call your high school for the most up-to-date information.
We’ve rounded up some of the districts in the region who have shared their graduation plans:
Virtual ceremonies will be held on each high school’s original graduation date, and drive-through diploma cover pickup/celebrations will be held at 7 p.m. on each gradation night:
- June 3 – CAM Academy
- June 4 – Prairie High School
- June 5 – Battle Ground High School
- June 8 – River HomeLink
- June 9 – Summit View High School
If coronavirus restrictions are eventually lifted so that schools can hold in-person graduation ceremonies, Battle Ground School District will consider its options for holding such events.
Camas High school will hold a virtual graduation on June 12. Hayes Freedom High School will hold their ceremony, also virtual, June 13. If it is safe to do so, drive-through ceremonies have been tentatively planned for June 27. Please reach out to your individual high school for more information.
Castle Rock High School’s Class of 2020 will graduate via virtual graduation. The finished product will be a YouTube video. This video will be released at 7 p.m. on June 12. Look for a link that will be shared before 7 p.m. on the district’s website. Students are encouraged to dress up, wear their cap and gown, and watch the video with their family to make it a special day.
Evergreen will honor every senior at each high school with an online/virtual celebration at 7 p.m. on the following dates:
- June 12 – Legacy High School
- June 15 – Henrietta Lacks Health and BioScience High School
- June 16 – Evergreen High School
- June 17 – Mountain View High School
- June 18 – Transitions (5 p.m.) | Union High School (7 p.m.)
- June 19 – Heritage High School
Students will receive more specific graduation information directly from their individual high school.
Hockinson High School will hold a virtual graduation ceremony on June 11 at 7 p.m. An in-person graduation event has been tentatively scheduled for August 7 at 7 p.m. if it safe to do so at that time.
Kalama High School will stream a virtual awards night on June 4. The time is still to be determined. On June 5, the school will host a drive-through graduation event to distribute of diplomas at 7 p.m., followed by a car parade through downtown Kalama.
Kelso’s graduation ceremony is scheduled to air live on KLTV COMCAST Channel 28 or www.kltv.org on June 6 at 1 p.m. The ceremony will be held digitally with pre-recorded segments.
Longview Public Schools has three high schools: RA Long High School, Mark Morris High School and Discovery High School. Discovery is working closely with their students and parents on planning a safe and responsible virtual graduation ceremony.
RA Long and Mark Morris have partnered with KLTV in Longview to develop and air a virtual graduation ceremony. The RA Long ceremony will air June 6 at 3 p.m., with Mark Morris following at 7 p.m.
Lyle High School will hold a virtual graduation ceremony on June 6 at 2 p.m. Check with the school district for more information.
Graduation will be held on Friday, June 5, as originally scheduled and will honor seniors’ requests to wear their caps and gowns and walk across a stage to receive their diplomas.
The event will be a combination of:
- a virtual ceremony, complete with traditional speeches and acknowledgements that seniors and their families can access at home;
- a car parade of seniors in their cars with their families; and
- an in-person event allowing each graduate to walk across the stage to receive their diploma
Vancouver Public Schools is committed to honoring the class of 2020 with commencement events. A recent survey of high school seniors ranked in-person graduations as their first preference. Consistent with Washington state’s four-phase reopening plan, however, these events must be held later this summer when it is deemed safe to hold large gatherings.
Formal graduation events are scheduled for mid-August as follows:
- Hudson’s Bay H.S., 5 p.m. at Kiggins Bowl
- Fort Vancouver H.S., 8 p.m. at Kiggins Bowl
- Vancouver Flex Academy, 5 p.m. at Columbia River High School stadium
- Vancouver School of Arts & Academics, 8 p.m. at Columbia River High School stadium
- Vancouver iTech Preparatory, 5 p.m. at Kiggins Bowl
- Skyview H.S., 8 p.m. at Kiggins Bowl
- Columbia River H.S., 8 p.m. at Columbia River High School stadium
VPS will live stream commencement ceremonies from the two locations. Graduates will be able to participate in the rite of passage of walking across a stage. Social distancing protocol will be required for the graduates and staff. If the state’s reopening plan doesn’t allow large gatherings on those dates, the backup dates will be the week of August 31 through September 4.
In the meantime, VPS will celebrate our seniors with activities that follow state requirements to maintain a safe environment for all:
- Video celebrations for each school posted on social media and school websites
- Virtual awards and recognition events for seniors June 8-9
Washougal will hold both a virtual ceremony on June 6, 2020, at 5 p.m., and an in-person ceremony on August 8 (time TBD) at Fishback Stadium.
June 6 – Virtual Ceremony
- The virtual commencement will be broadcast live on YouTube.
- The ceremony will include speakers and awards presented by the district Superintendent, Principal, Valedictorian and Salutatorian, as well as members of ASB and Senior Class Leadership.
August 8 – WHS Graduation Ceremony at Fishback Stadium
- Time is TBD but will likely be held in the evening
- More details to come about arrival time, staging, and numbers of guests allowed per student.
Woodland High School will hold its graduation ceremony on Friday, July 10, either in-person or virtual, depending on the closure situation.
If you live in the ESD 112 region and your district is not listed, please reach out directly to your school or district for Class of 2020 high school graduation plans.
Congratulations to the graduating class of 2020!