Celebrating the last four years

BVH plans to hold in-person graduation ceremony for seniors


Lucia Rivera

Students walk onto stage at the 2019 Bonita Vista High graduation ceremony. This took place at Southwestern College, unlike the upcoming graduation ceremony for class of 2021.

Lucia Rivera, Editor-in-Chief

As of May 3, Bonita Vista High (BVH) plans to celebrate graduating seniors at an optional in-person ceremony on June 3 at Hilltop High (HTH). Following COVID-19 protocol, the ceremony will be split into three cohort sessions of 30 to 45 minutes each at 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.

“At first I was really excited that I would actually have a graduation compared to last year’s graduating class,” senior Jenna Correa said. “But when I saw all the limitations, I was still pretty excited that at least I had some sort of ceremony.”

If you are a BVH senior, will you attend the in-person graduation ceremony?

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Policies like mandated masks were initially made clear when the Sweetwater Union High School District (SUHSD) previously announced the plan to hold graduation and eighth grade promotion ceremonies on April 19 on their website. 

“Once in the venue, students will be seated together (six feet apart) while guests will be seated in the stands or other observation area. Guests from the same household will be expected to sit together, maintaining six feet of distance from other groups while seated in the stands,” Chief of Educational Equity and Support Services Vernon Moore wrote on the SUHSD website.

Each graduating senior is allowed to bring four guests from their household who will all sign a district waiver beforehand. Additionally, a maximum of 200 students will be in each cohort. 

“The four family spectators, from the same household, and the graduate are expected to arrive and wait together, maintaining a distance of six feet from other families as they walk through the stadium entrance gate,” the BVH graduation question and answer document reads. “Family members who are not able to attend will be able to watch a video of the graduation ceremony a few days after the ceremony takes place.”

New changes also include the lack of any rehearsals, the need to submit a liability waiver before attending as a guest and the lack of concessions at the event. However, students like senior Leah Sides are excitedly planning to attend.

“I was very excited and eager for the prospect of just having a graduation,” Sides said. “There was also just a part of me that felt saddened because of the past seniors that did not have a graduation, [but] I’m interested to see what they’re going to do and how they’re going to do this.”

After requesting all seniors’ top cohort picks on May 3 through a Google Form, BVH principal Roman Del Rosario, Ed.D., informed them of their slots on May 13. Both Sides and Correa are appreciative of administrators’ efforts in planning an in-person celebration. They are also fully vaccinated and plan to bring their parents as guests. 

“I just hope that graduation will be [in] a safe and controlled environment because anyone there that’s also fully vaccinated can still try to be careful. I’m hoping that everyone wears masks and socially distances from people because I still think that it’s very important. But I also hope that if I’m able to attend this event that we have a really good time,” Sides said.

This piece was updated on May 14, 2021.