Graduation will look different this year for the Breckenridge High School Class of 2020 in Breckenridge, Minnesota. This year’s ceremony will be held in front of the high school at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 31.
BHS seniors picked up their cap, gowns and the unique commencement guidance on Thursday, May 21.
Students would typically be sitting next to their classmates, waiting for their name to be called and walking across the stage to receive their diploma. Although this year, BHS will be planning to host a drive-in style of graduation due to the coronavirus pandemic.
BHS Principal Craig Peterson said that this ceremony is making the best scenario from the guidelines the school is being required to follow from the Minnesota Department of Education, Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“It’s very restrictive,” Peterson said.
This is an unprecedented experience that has caused many students in the BHS senior class to become saddened and frustrated, however, they are seeing this as a unique situation that they are going to make the best out of.
“It’s tough, but I’m happy that we are still getting some sort of a ceremony – we still get to walk,” McKenzie Christensen, BHS senior and summa cum laude award recipient, said. “I think everyone is a little frustrated but I think everyone also understands that there isn’t a whole lot that we can do since we can’t go against the guidelines. I think we are making it the best we can. I’m just happy it’s not virtual.”
Superintendent Diane Cordes will begin the graduation ceremony. Then Peterson and school board member Steve Arnhalt will be on the stage for students to be called up and receive their diploma.
Students and families are being directed to park their vehicles in the schools parking lot and remain in their vehicles. Then the student will be able to leave their car, walk across the stage and pick up their diploma that is set aside to avoid contact. Unfortunately, due to state guidelines, families will be unable to leave their vehicles with the student.
After the ceremony, the Breckenridge fire department and police department will be leading vehicles out of the parking lot after the ceremony for a car parade. More information about the parade is expected on Tuesday, May 26.
For those who are unable to attend the ceremony, graduation will live on KBMW radio and also will be live streamed on Magnitude Sports.
“It’s weird – definitely not what we expected,” Kaitlin Arnhalt, BHS senior and magna cum laude award recipient, said. “We fought it at first, but then it was something that we came to accept because it’s something we can’t control. It’s definitely one to remember.”