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Holtville School Official Holding Out Hope for Physical Grad Ceremony

HOLTVILLE — With many high schools in the Valley moving forward to plan “virtual” graduation ceremonies, Holtville High School’s principal is holding out hope that an actual ceremony might still happen.

“The best scenario is that we will have our traditional graduation ceremony, and there are still a few other high schools in the Valley holding out for that. Our biggest hope is the governor lifts his mandate on gatherings of 10 or more,” Holtville High School Principal Anthony Arevalo said recently.

Local school administrators are utilizing a joint document through the Imperial County Office of Education that all the schools are using to share information on grading, graduation and other COVID-related issues.

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Several different scenarios for graduation have been proposed on this document, Arevalo said.

“Some schools are opting for a virtual graduation ceremony. The way I understand it is, the principal will start with opening words, when they transition into the graduation ceremony, they will have a photo of the student along with a short profile of what the student wants to do in the future,” Arevalo said.

“So far, I heard Calexico is going that route. Some schools have been talking about a car-line parade, where students drive around the city and the parade ends at the high school, where the students are given a diploma.”

Arevalo shared a few more options that are on the table for graduation.

“A military-school set up a (graduation) ceremony where all students were six feet apart. Another option is having a small graduation for 20 students each. We would have to set up time frames for people. This option is a little more challenging on the organizational side and only two people come per family,” he said.

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Arevalo is in close communication with senior advisors and will run a survey among students to see which graduation option they would prefer.

“Students are oddly coming up with a bunch of their own ideas,” the Viking principal noted.

In terms of committing to a date for the seniors’ big day, Arevalo said, “I don’t have a definitive answer yet of what our graduation will look like. There isn’t a day we come to work where we don’t think about it and think about how our students feel.

“We are taking it day by day. If you were to ask me, I would say we will make the decision some time mid-May in time for our board meeting,” Arevalo added. “We will make some type of joint decision considering what the students want and their safety.”


This story is featured in the April 30, 2020 e-Edition.