Graduation update: Covid protocols and minor changes made to June 17 ceremony

By Zoe Reshoft

While the details on the graduation COVID protocols were previously unknown, Assistant Principal Hanly has clarified that everyone attending the ceremony, regardless if the person is fully vaccinated, will still be required to wear a face mask.

In addition, seniors will be socially distanced during the ceremony, and guests will be required to socially distance in the stands.

Hanly said that the graduation ceremony will be run the same way it has in past years before the pandemic, with only a few minor changes. 

The scheduled student national anthem performance and Lane’s choir performance will not be held on the Soldier Field stage, due to the stage’s smaller size in comparison to the stage used in previous years and physical distancing requirements. 

Hanly stated that there will be no alternative ceremony for students who are uncomfortable with attending the in-person graduation.

Lane’s “graduation ceremony is always optional,” Hanly said. “The diploma provided to students is the proof of graduation, so the ceremony is just to mark the occasion, but no senior is required to attend.” 

For many seniors and their families, this year’s announcement of an in-person graduation has come as an exciting surprise. 

“I was super excited because I was under the impression that we (Lane students) are going to do what we did last year and have a drive thru graduation,” said senior Marcela Erikson, Div. 150.

“So to find out that we were gonna be graduating, which is just such a big deal in itself at such an important and well known venue was cool,” Erikson said. “It just made me even more excited about graduation.”

While this year’s’ senior class missed out on many of the traditional senior year activities such as Oktoberfest, in-person senior spirit week, and in-person decision day festivities, the graduation announcement is allowing the class of 2021 to end their highschool careers with some sense of closure. 

“We know that the seniors missed out on all of their normal senior activities they would have had an option to participate in if we were in person,” Hanly said. “We are so excited that the district opened up this opportunity so that we could give the seniors a more traditional experience as in previous years.”