Assistant Principal Deanna Tower sent out the latest iteration of the graduation plans for Half Moon Bay High School in a letter late last week and it’s unusual, to say the least. The new plan includes a two-day in-person ceremony on the high school campus.
As it now stands, students will walk across a stage and receive congratulations alongside limited guests, while strictly abiding by social distancing and other health orders.
It’s a similar plan to the one Tower, who has led the graduation ceremony planning efforts this year, proposed last month. The prior plan called for a four-day graduation ceremony in mid-May to be filmed and aired on the official graduation date June 4. It initially received board approval but was postponed after San Mateo County extended its shelter-in-place order until the end of May.
The letter sent out to high school families and staff on Friday included details about the ceremony, noting that
the plans are still at the discretion of the county Health Department and may change again.
The letter invited graduates to don their caps and gowns and, with up to four guests from their same household, visit six stations across campus. The stations include a welcome, name call, stage walk and congratulations from Principal John Nazar, the Grad Night Committee and the Parent-Teacher Organization. In accordance with local health mandates, all graduates and guests must wear masks and practice social distancing.
Tower said she hopes to have a videographer capture pieces of the ceremony to compile a film of the ceremony, along with speeches from staff and honored students.
Ultimately, the letter says, HMBHS leaders hope to honor the hard work of each graduate and preserve the most meaningful aspects of a graduation.
“No one envisioned the end of this school year to be what it is right now,” the letter reads. “We know the feeling of loss that graduates are experiencing because the HMBHS
staff feels it too. And we all agreed that we didn’t want you to finish your high school years without a proper send-off.”