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COVID-19 prompt changes to Kalispell high school graduation ceremonies

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Posted at 8:05 AM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-13 10:19:07-04

KALISPELL — The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has prompted changes to many of this year's graduation ceremonies but Kalispell's two high schools have come up with a plan for their grads.

This year’s graduation ceremony at Legends Stadium will look different from years past, with safety being the top priority.

Glacier and Flathead high schools will host a virtual graduation commencement starting at 3 p.m. on Friday, May 29. The event will be live-streamed on each school’s website.

Flathead High School students can pick up diplomas at Legends Stadium that same night at 6 p.m. Each graduate will be allowed to bring two guests in assigned seating in the stands.

Glacier High School will have its diploma ceremony at Legends Stadium with the same rules in place at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 30.

Glacier High School Principal Micah Hill says the diploma ceremonies give students and families a chance to celebrate all their hard work.

“We just want to give at least one opportunity for that class to come together and be celebrated and recognized for their years of hard work and their contributions to our school.”

Hill says the diploma ceremonies will also be live-streamed, but families will have to make tough choices on who can attend in person, even his own family.

“You know I had a conversation with my wife last night, I have a son who’s a senior and will be graduating -- and obviously I’m the principal of Glacier High School -- but it’s going to be myself and my wife that is my sons two guests. So, we’re going to be very consistent in that.”

The virtual ceremonies will remain online for families to view through the end of June.

More than 600 seniors are expected to receive diplomas from Glacier and Flathead High Schools.