Half Moon Bay High School graduates will get to celebrate in person after a senior year mostly spent learning remotely away from their peers.
The graduation ceremony, set for 5 p.m., June 3, at the high school’s football field, will allow graduates to give speeches and receive their diplomas alongside the school community. The ceremony will be limited to two guests per graduate, but will also be live streamed online for other family and friends to watch.
Assistant Principal Deanna Tower said she has worked to keep as many of the traditional ceremony components as possible for around 200 high school graduates. There will be safety protocols in place, with guests required to answer a symptom checker survey and abide by social distancing and mask rules. Members of the same household will be seated together away from others.
But that’s not the only celebration seniors have to look forward to this spring. Parent groups and Grad Night organizers have worked to throw a beach-themed movie night on Friday, June 4, followed by a senior formal on Sunday, June 5.
Robyn Souza, a member of the nonprofit Grad Night Committee, said that typically the Grad Night Committee hosts a party at the I.D.E.S. Hall in downtown Half Moon Bay. But this year, the group will be hosting a screening of “Guardians of the Galaxy,” with prizes, concessions, food and beach-themed activities. The location, which will be disclosed the day of the event, will spread out attendees in beach chairs around LED bonfires named after local beaches.
Souza said despite fundraising difficulties during the pandemic and the constantly changing COVID-19 restrictions, the committee was able to pull together a safe, outdoor event for seniors to celebrate their accomplishments together.
“It was a real driver because this graduating class in particular just had nothing of their senior year at all,” Souza said. “So we really wanted to do something, even if it would be scaled back and more restrictive.”
The following night, the seniors will have yet another opportunity to be together at a senior formal organized by local parents. Organizer Jen Guevara said the formal will be held outdoors at Long Branch Saloon and Farms on Verde Road. Attendees will have to wear masks and must bring either proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative test result.