Horizon Christian School and Hood River Valley High School Class of 2020 will proceed with Commencement ceremonies that are new and definitely COVID-different.
HRVHS hosts a vehicle possession, grads in the passenger seat, culminating in late afternoon on June 5, while Horizon will hold a drive-up event on June 6 at 2 p.m. in the east parking lot of the campus, on Pacific Avenue on the Heights.
Hood River Valley, June 5
The key to the HRVHS ceremony is that it will be a drive-up graduation, preceded by an optional vehicle procession from the grads’ local elementary schools. Graduates and their immediate families will access the HRVHS campus in vehicles from various locations across Hood River County, according to principal Rich Polkinghorn.
Grads will wear unadorned caps and gowns (to be picked up June 3-4) and car decorations will be allowed. Once on campus, via the north entrance, vehicles will be directed to the south HRVHS parking lot. As the vehicle approaches Henderson Stadium, the graduates will exit their vehicle to walk across a stage and receive their diplomas and have their pictures taken. Only one vehicle per graduate is allowed in the procession, and only one vehicle per graduate is allowed. No other parking will be allowed at HRVHS. Graduates may choose to participate in a vehicle procession or come directly to campus. (Polkinghorn said the school is expressly not referring to it as a parade.)
The procession will be led and escorted by local fire districts. However, this is not a closed processional route. All vehicles must follow local traffic laws. Drivers are encouraged to avoid Indian Creek Road after 4 p.m. on June 6, as all cars in the processional will be heading south on Indian Creek, approaching the HRVHS campus north entrance, next to the roadside reader board.
Horizon, June 6
Horizon will hold slide shows in the sanctuary and table displays in the cafeteria — both to small groups.
A drive-by celebration will be on the front sidewalk at 4 p.m. (This corrects the time as listed in the print edition. A change was made after press time Monday.) Following precautions including limited number of guests in an area, social distancing, marked paths and monitors, wiping down surfaces, the school has formed this plan for the event: Grads will be seated on chairs to either side of a small stage, which will be set up on the sidewalk. Staff and speakers will be seated on chairs in the parking lot facing the grads, and guests (limited to family and close friends) will be in parked cars. We will have a sound system and transmit by car radio.
Following the ceremony, grads will go to the cafeteria where they will have their table displays. Guests will be directed to the sanctuary where they will a senior slide show and then into the cafeteria in groups of 25 where they will follow a marked path to greet the grads and view their table displays. They will exit out the north door of the cafeteria and down the hall to their cars in the east parking lot. At 3:30 p.m., Horizon grads will move to the front sidewalk and there will be a drive-by for the Horizon community to celebrate the new grads.
Speakers are teacher Christopher Layton and Hannah Kempf and Hannah Lingel, 2015 Horizon grads.