BOISE, Idaho — When the COVID-19 pandemic reached Idaho in March 2020, many Treasure Valley seniors were forced to forego traditional in-person graduation and take part in a drive-by or virtual graduation.
One year later, the COVID-19 vaccine is here and the rollout is well underway, meaning some seniors will be able to celebrate their achievement in person with safety precautions in place.
Here's what Treasure Valley K-12 school districts are planning for 2021 graduation.
Boise School District
Boise School District is limiting tickets to four per student.
The graduation ceremonies will be held at 7 p.m. on different days near the end of May at ExtraMile Arena, the home of the Boise State basketball team which seats just over 12,000 people.
School officials will live stream the graduation for those that are not given a ticket. Details on the live stream will be released as graduation approaches.
High School Graduation Schedule:
May 24- Borah High School
May 25- Capital High School
May 26- Timberline High School
May 26- Frank Church High School (This ceremony will be held outside at Frank Church at 4 p.m.)
May 27- Boise High School
Caldwell School District
Canyon Spring High School is set to hold graduation on May 24 from 6-8 p.m. in the Caldwell High School auditorium.
Caldwell High School is set to hold graduation on May 26 from 2:30-4:30 p.m. at the Idaho Ford Center.
Emmett School District
Emmett High School's graduation is set to take place on May 27 at 7 p.m. It will be held in person at the Idaho Ford Center and seniors will be given eight tickets for guests.
Kuna School District
Kuna High School will hold its graduation on Thursday, May 27 from 3-4:30 p.m. The ceremony will be held at the Idaho Ford Center in Nampa.
The Idaho Ford Center is no longer limiting attendance.
Middleton School District
Middleton High School will hold graduation in the high school stadium because it will allow for "flexibility that was not available at the Idaho Center".
A graduation rehearsal will be held on the morning of Wednesday, May 26 and seniors will gather outside the MHS stadium for a group photo before the ceremony.
The graduation ceremony is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. on May 26. Seniors will be given a total of eight tickets for guests.
All plans are tentative, according to the school district's website.
Mountain Home School District
Bennett Mountain High School is set to hold its graduation ceremony at the Mountain Home High School Gymnasium on Thursday, May 26 from 6-8 p.m.
Mountain Home High School is set to hold its graduation ceremony at Tiger Field on Friday, May 28 at 5 p.m.
Seniors will receive 10 tickets each. Any extras are encouraged to be given back to the school so they can be redistributed to seniors who need more. An announcement will be sent out when extra tickets are available and ready for pickup. Extras will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis.
The ceremony will be live-streamed on the school's Facebook page.
Nampa School District
The Nampa School District will hold in-person graduation ceremonies for all high schools. All ceremonies will be held at the Idaho Ford Center and graduates will be allowed to invite as many guests as they would like, as the center is no longer limiting attendance.
The district is encouraging guests to wear a mask during the ceremony, but it is not required.
May 24: Nampa High School. 7 p.m. at Ford Idaho Center
May 25: Skyview High School. 7 p.m. at Ford Idaho Center
May 26: Columbia High School. 7 p.m. at Ford Idaho Center
More information can be found here.
Ontario School District
Seniors at Ontario High School will have their last day of classes on Wednesday, May 26. The graduation ceremony will be held at Tiger Stadium on Wednesday, June 2 at 6 p.m.
Because COVID-19 restrictions are in place in Oregon and seniors wanted an experience as close to normal as possible, the ceremony will be organized as follows:
- The graduation stage will be set up on the football field as usual
- The staff, band and choir will be set up on the field as usual
- Graduates will be in the stands, socially distanced
- Families will line up in their “pods” (group that is there for their graduate, no matter the size of the “pod”) beginning at the first gate at the top of the Tiger Stadium and the pods will continue the line around to the front of OHS and down the sidewalk in front of Aiken Elementary, if necessary. The “pods” will remain socially distanced and while on campus, masks must be worn
- Two or three “pods” will be staged on the stairs into the stadium at a time and we have a system to have the graduate for that “pod” join them there; when the “pod” with their graduate reaches the bottom of the stairs, the graduate continues on to the stage and the “pod” moves on the track facing the stage to take pictures, cheer, etc. (Note: anyone in a wheelchair or unable to navigate the stairs will be able to stay at the top of the stadium to watch)
- Once the graduate receives their diploma, exits the stage and gets their professional picture taken, the “pod” leaves the stadium by the far stairs and will be guided around the back of the school to be taken to the front parking lot; the graduate goes back to the bleachers to sit with their class for the remainder of graduation (this was requested so they could cheer each other on and have a last moment together as a complete class)
- Families are free to return to their car and either wait for their graduate or leave - parking is available in the front of the building, but will not be available in the parking lot by the football stadium
- If you choose to stay in the parking lot to wait for your graduate, masks must be worn on campus
More information can be found on the district website.
West Ada School District
Graduation dates and locations are listed below by date:
Tuesday, June 8, 2021 - Centennial Performing Arts Complex
- Rebound - 4:30 p.m.
- Virtual School House - 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, June 9, 2021 - Centennial Performing Arts Complex
- Eagle Academy - 4:30 p.m.
- Central Academy - 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, June 10, 2021 - Centennial Performing Arts Complex
- Meridian Academy - 4:30 p.m.
- Idaho Fine Arts Academy - 7:00 p.m.
Friday, June 11, 2021 - Ford Idaho Center
- Meridian High School - 2:00 p.m.
- Rocky Mountain High School - 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, June 12, 2021 - Mountain View High School Gymnasium
- Renaissance High School - 10:00 a.m.
Saturday, June 19, 2021 - Ford Idaho Center
- Eagle High School - 11:00 a.m.
- Centennial High School - 3:00 p.m.
- Mountain View High School - 7:00 p.m.
The number of guests will be determined by the capacity of the facility and calculated to allow space for social distancing. Seating is limited. Schools will reach out to families with this information.
- Masks are required at the ceremonies.
- Livestreaming will be available for most school locations for families who are not able to attend live.
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