Administration moves forward with tentative plan for drive-through graduation

Brynne Paiva, Editor-in-Chief

Seniors anxious to know how and when their graduation ceremony will take place can expect drive-through ceremonies on June 9-11, with a more traditional ceremony to be expected on the tentative date of July 30, as per the San Diego County Office of Education guidelines released last Friday. 

ASB Director Shannon Parker is among the team of administrators working to plan out the details for our school’s event, trying to create the most meaningful experience for the class of 2020 while adhering to the San Diego County “Stay at Home” mandate and the statewide prohibition of public gatherings. 

As of right now, Parker said the drive-through ceremonies will take place along the back of campus, with vehicles entering by the locker rooms and ultimately ending in the theater plaza where a personal diploma presentation will occur. The drive-through ceremonies will take place over three days, with the students divided alphabetically by last name. Along the driving path, staff members will be spread out presenting students with various gifts.

Whether or not the graduate may get out of their car to receive their diploma depends on whether some restrictions are lifted on public gatherings by June 11. 

Currently, public health guidelines prohibit members of different households in the same vehicle and families from stopping and sitting in their car during the drive through ceremony.

Parker said administrators have considered other options for the ceremony, including a “personal experience” for each graduate and their family in the gym or stadium, where the graduate would have been able to get photo opportunities as well as a walk up a ramp to receive their diploma. Yet, this option was deemed against public health guidelines.

To get input from staff, students and their families, the district held an online thought exchange about graduation ceremonies for this year. Postponing the ceremony until it can be held in a more traditional setting was a popular sentiment among those who shared their thoughts.

Class presidents Jade Treese (12) and Grace Morrison (12) found similar results in their surveying of the senior class. 

“Being together and celebrating each other walking across the stage was the biggest desire [from our class],” Treese said. “Knowing this, we are heavily advocating for a postponed celebration in order to make it as close to a traditional one as possible.”

Treese and Morrison voiced this opinion in meetings with other class presidents and ASB advisers across the district.

Though the gathering restrictions may lift later in the year, Parker said postponing the ceremony beyond July poses the issues of students leaving for college and families moving out of state, as this time has prompted economic difficulties for many families. 

This led Parker and school administrators to land on their July 30 date, planning to structure the event based on any restrictions that may be enforced or even lifted at that time.

Parker said she wishes to make the seniors feel as celebrated as possible while still keeping them, their families, and Westview staff safe and healthy.

“[The seniors] already feel like they’ve been robbed of so much,” Parker said. “When our seniors realized they wouldn’t be doing most of their activities, everyone’s attention immediately shifted to graduation. It takes time to really do things like this right, so we’ve waited as long as we can to make our decision so we can create an experience that’s meaningful.”