Graduation plans in some communities have changed as the restrictions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic have changed the way we live.

At Old Orchard Beach, a virtual graduation ceremony is set for 2 p.m. Sunday June 7, when the Old Orchard Beach High School graduation video will be presented to graduates and the public for viewing and celebration. Principal and RSU 23 Superintendent John Suttie said in a letter to families the link will be posted on the RSU 23 and OOBHS website and sent by email to all students and parents. The video will be professionally filmed and edited and provided to all OOBHS graduates as a lifelong keepsake.

On Sunday morning, June 7, students and their families (up to 10 people) will have the option to schedule a 10-minute photo-op and diploma pick-up at the Seaside Pavilion. A photographer will be onsite and photos are free to families. Social distancing guidelines will be in place, and visitors will be expected to wear cloth face coverings when meeting at the Pavilion. Graduates may remove masks for the walk across the stage, when they receive the diploma and the picture, Suttie said.

At Thornton Academy, which had reset graduation to later in the summer, as had Old Orchard Beach at one point, is now conducting a virtual graduation ceremony, which will be shown at Saco Drive-In later this month.

To recreate a traditional Thornton Academy commencement event, the school will replicate and film individual segments of the ceremony on campus, while ensuring physical distancing protocols are observed, and compiled to create a video.

Due to the social distancing restrictions placed upon the Saco Drive-In, the school will need to divide the class of 2020 into two viewing groups based on students’ last name. Seniors with last names from A through K will attend the viewing at 9 p.m. June 23; those with last names L through Z will attend at 9 p.m. June 24.

Each senior will be allowed one vehicle for themselves and immediate family members; no other guests will be able to be accommodated. For those unable to attend the Saco Drive-In viewing, the commencement video and slideshow will be  streamed during the viewing on June 24. It will also be shared with all seniors, parents, and members of the Thornton Academy community electronically on June 25

Biddeford High School Class of 2020 will make a graduation video, which will be shown at 9 p.m. June 17 at the Saco Drive-In.

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: