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Rainier graduation will be socially distant, livestreamed

Rainier graduation will be socially distant, livestreamed

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Rainier High School Graduation 2019

Rainier High School Valedictorian Kenneth Guerr, left, and Salutatorian Nathaniel Falls, right, hug between speeches at the 2019 commencement ceremony.

The Rainier High School graduation will be livestreamed, but it also will include a “drive in” ceremony and finish with a car parade, according to the latest plan from district officials.

On graduation night, June 6, students will gather at the high school, separated to have no more than nine students per classroom, plus an assigned teacher. They will all watch the livestream from the classroom as open speeches are given, then will be called one classroom at a time to be given their diploma covers, a district press release said. Each student will turn their tassel as soon as they get their diploma cover.

The entire ceremony will be livestreamed on YouTube, a district press release said, but two cars per student will be allowed to park in the student parking lot where close family members can watch the ceremony on a big screen set up on the hill. Community and extended family will get to watch through YouTube, the district said, and social distancing will be enforced. Families must stay in their cars if they attend.

After all 10 classrooms have had a turn, the students will be dismissed by classroom to join their families in the cars outside. Then, the cars will parade through downtown Rainier, the press release said.

District officials said plans could always change based on new direction from the Oregon Department of Education and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown.

The district added that it is “celebrating our graduates each week” as it adds more elements to its “Friday Night Lights” display, in which stadiums around the state turn on their lights Friday to honor the class of 2020 whose senior year has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Last Friday night, seniors’ names ... were read over the stadium PA. This week, senior names will be displayed on our reader board in front of the school,” a press release said. “Next week, look for custom yard signs for each of our graduates.”

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