Letter to the Editor: Grad parent asks province to allow drive in commencement ceremony

Letter to the Editor: Grad parent asks province to allow drive in commencement ceremony

Good morning Dr Bonnie, Premier Horgan, Minister Dix, Minister Fleming and MLA Shypitka

Thank you for all of your extraordinary efforts during the pandemic. I write to you today with a plea for special consideration.

The residents of Kootenay East have worked incredibly hard to do our part to flatten the curve. The statistics are a testament to our efforts and sacrifice.

With support of the City of Cranbrook, Mt Baker High School, the 2020 grad committee, parents and most importantly the grads-a well thought out, purposeful commencement ceremony was created. The ceremony was timed out to allow for maximum compliance to all of the Provincial Health Officers directives. This was not a hastily thrown together ceremony. All involved have and would have gone above and beyond.

The ceremony was to be “drive in style”. Which would require only the graduate and immediate family in each vehicle. However, the new announcement of 50 cars or less has left all with many new challenges.

The grads of 2020 are unique in they were the kids whom had grade 6 cut short due to a teachers strike. The right of passage and celebration from elementary to Jr high was cut short. Special trips, events and school itself ended abruptly. Our own local 2020 class then also experienced the transition from Jr high to High school during an extreme fire season with some even being evacuated.

The grads of 2020 are also facing a very uncertain short term future. Many of our Graduates have Post Secondary acceptance and have had to place on hold while Schools plan their curriculum during this pandemic These Graduates deserve their recognition for their hard work, perseverance and more importantly their patience and dedication through these troubling times.

I am asking you to give special consideration for the Mt Baker 2020 grad class to have a well thought out, purposeful, drive-in cap and gown commencement ceremony on the ENORMOUS Western Financial Place parking lot. Our community and our children will adhere to best practices and strict enforcement by the committee for social distancing. We are asking that you place some trust in the City of Cranbrook, the Mt Baker High School Grad Committee and of course our 2020 Graduates and allow for this commencement ceremony to move forward as planned.

Kind Regards

Jason Wheeldon

Proud Parent of a 2020 Grad