Staff sends special message to Grade 12 students

The message is clear. Students in the graduating class of E.W. Pratt High School in High Prairie were congratulated in a special display organized on May 9, the day scheduled for the graduation ceremonies. However, the school has been closed since March 16 and gatherings are not permitted during the current COVID-19 pandemic. The display was created by school athletic director Jenelle Gallivan and wellness coach Chelsea Bembridge.

Schools still hoping to have ceremonies

Richard Froese
South Peace News

More that 70 graduating students of E.W. Pratt School were centre stage in front the High Prairie high school on the Mother’s Day weekend.

A special display of photos of students went up the morning of May 9, the day official ceremonies were scheduled.

However, the event was not able to be held by restrictions during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Gatherings of more than 15 people are not permitted under provincial health orders.

“We are very disappointed a formal ceremony is not possible at this time, but are proud of all of the accomplishments of our students,” principal Neil Barry says.

The school plans to consider options for an official ceremony.

A total of 74 students are on the current graduating list, he says.

Donnelly G.P. Vanier School was scheduled to celebrate graduation May 16, traditionally held the Victoria Day weekend.

A total of 38 graduates are set to be in the spotlight, principal Pam Heckbert says.

“COVID is definitely putting a damper on our grad plans, but our graduates deserve a celebration, perhaps more than ever before,” Heckbert says.

“Our hope is that our traditional ceremony can still go ahead in the near future and we can gather together in the school and honour the accomplishments of these students properly.”

A special celebration is being planned near the end of June.

“Our recognition of our grad students this year is going to have a more personalized approach,” Heckbert says.

“Vanier staff is going to bring a ceremony to the students and their families.”

Schools in High Prairie School Division continues to study options to host traditional graduation ceremonies at a later date when the restrictions on large gatherings are either no longer in place or allow graduates, families, and staff to attend in part or in full.

“We continue to watch the situation and the changes it brings to allow large gatherings,” Supt. Laura Poloz says. “Local schools are doing a number of different recognition events to celebrate and honour the years of hard work of our students.”

HPSD and schools look forward to celebrate and honour the graduates in a special way.

A graduation cap is placed on Austin Stout’s photo to honour his achievements.

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