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LR graduation plan very different under COVID-19 restrictions

This year's Lake Roosevelt High School graduation ceremony will likely look a lot different than those of their older siblings, friends, parents, or grandparents. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected yet another part of our lives, with the social distancing requirements making the rite of passage of graduating from a high school all the more difficult. 

Graduation will be held June 13 at 7 p.m according to a plan reviewed by the Grand Coulee Dam School District board of directors Monday night. 

Superintendent Paul Turner in his May 1 update to the community, said that "In order to accommodate social distancing, the ceremony will be held at the football field pending some relief from the Governor." 

A slideshow included with the May 11 agenda for the Grand Coulee Dam School District Board meeting details how the graduation can proceed in keeping with social-distancing rules and guidelines in place. 

The details are pending approval from the Okanogan County Health District, LR Junior/Senior High Principal Kirk Marshlain said at the May 11 board meeting held via Zoom. 

Some key details include immediate family remaining in their vehicles during the ceremony, parked in the parking lot near the football field; a second vehicle for extended family of a student being allowed to park in the upper parking lot above the field near the school itself; other guest parking in the "overflow" parking lots near the elementary school, and the baseball diamond; the student walks to the football field, picking up a bag waiting for them on a chair that includes their diploma; one student on the field at a time; no handshakes or hugs; all attending must wear masks. 

A video including speeches will be screened on the field on a large screen and those in their cars can listen in on the radio. 

Following the video screening, students will be called alphabetically by last name. They'll pick up their diploma, have their picture taken, then go back to their car. 

Marshlain said that he would speak with local police about directing traffic, and that staff would help with parking. 

There will be designated lines for cars with the immediate family and graduates coming and going, on the procession and recession route, that stretches from Civic Way near the gym, Center Drive near the school, SR-155/River Drive, through the football field parking lot, and back out. 

Observers can park along Civic Way at 6:30 p.m. The procession begins at 7 p.m. 

After students pick up their diplomas and return to their cars, they'll get into the recession line to drive back out after all the names are called.

There will be no after party or other such post-graduation gathering. 


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