District releases options for graduation and senior activities


Bay Area News Group

MOUNTAIN VIEW – JUNE 4: Students wait in line during graduation at Mountain View High School in Mountain View, Calif., on Thursday, June 4, 2020. (Randy Vazquez / Bay Area News Group)

Dhiara Berkley

Featured photo courtesy of the Mercury News

In the March 8 MVLA board meeting, administrators presented their plans and progress regarding senior activities such as graduation and prom. Many of the activities will be modified in order to comply with the COVID-19 county guidelines and regulations.


There are three possible options for graduation: plans A, B, and C, whose foundations were determined by senior class input through meetings and surveys. Despite their differences, if chosen, any of them would be held on June 4. Jon Robell, the school’s assistant principal, and Suzanne Wolfolk, LAHS’ assistant principal, said both schools will have a similar graduation plan.

Plan A would include the entire senior class entering the football field from the backfield, and sitting in chairs six feet apart. Each socially distanced chair would have under it class council gifts, a diploma cover, and a class photo. As student’s names are called, they would stand up as a camera connected to a live feed tapes each student, allowing remote spectators to watch. 

These remote spectators would be either in socially distanced pods on the cleared backfield or another large outdoor space where they would be able to watch the live feed on a large outdoor movie screen.

Plan B would take half of the seniors at a time for a total of two mini-ceremonies. They would enter through the backfield and sit on the home-side bleachers on the football field. If social distancing protocols have changed by summer, they would be seated just four feet apart from one another. At the foot of each senior’s space, like in Plan A, there would be class council gifts, a class photo, and a diploma cover. 

There would also be a stage where students and administration speakers would make remarks. KMVT, a media company, will take videos and pictures of the seniors as they are being called for a later edited video. In this plan, seniors would be given around four graduation tickets for spectators, who would watch a live feed from their assigned pods on the field.

Unlike the other plans, Plan C would be offsite. Seniors would have one ceremony, and there would be spectators in-person. In terms of its location, the San Jose Earthquakes Avaya Stadium has reserved June 4 for the district to possibly host graduation. The stadium would accommodate 530 graduates being able to cross the stage, and spectators would be in pods and spaced in bleachers to watch the ceremony. 

A survey showed that seniors liked how Plan A was focused on the graduates, had spectator pods, and was on campus. What they liked about Plan B was that loved ones would be in attendance on the football field, and there would be a preference of which mini ceremony they would attend.

Some concerns from seniors were that they were unable to cross the stage in plans A and B, and how students who do not feel comfortable with an in-person graduation ceremony would be recognized. Students also felt that in Plan B there were not as many students together, the setup would be rushed because both graduations would be on the same day, and there would be repeated speeches that they felt would not be as authentic.

Other Senior Activities:

Like graduation, prom will look very different from its traditional form. There will be a meeting March 9 that will include the discussion of prom. The modified prom would take place on May 15 outdoors, and wouldn’t necessarily be a dance.

There will likely still be the senior picnic, which would be at the same location as in previous years. Additionally, the administration will need to raise money for transportation to the picnic, which has not yet been finalized.