Most Marin High School graduation ceremonies are being held in-person and outdoors this year, but county officials said testing and masks before the event are still advised, especially for celebrations. indoors after the ceremony.
“For graduation-related indoor gatherings, it is strongly recommended that attendees be tested on the day of the event and face coverings,” said Dr. Matt Willis, Marin Public Health Officer, in an email this week.
“These recommendations are presented keeping in mind the current high rate of transmission and the understanding that graduations are intergenerational events where those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID are present.”
Dr. Lisa Santora, deputy county public health officer, said the guidelines for end-of-year school events have been updated to reflect the current rise in cases with the omicron BA.2 subvariant.
“We strongly encouraged schools to require same-day testing and masks for large events and gatherings,” Santora said in an email. “We are at the peak of this second omicron wave with many super-spreading events.”
Santora added that schools have the authority to establish masking requirements, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“They also have the power to demand vaccinations and testing,” Santora said. Masks are recommended, but not required, depending on the guidelines, updated May 12.
Students and families are informed to use rapid home antigen tests for the virus before attending ceremonies or events, to avoid the risk of infecting others. If the test is positive, they are advised to stay at home.
Across Marin this week, most high schools are celebrating in pre-pandemic style, with outdoor ceremonies and no limits on guest lists.
At schools in the city of San Rafael, Madrone graduates were honored on Wednesday. The other high schools in the district — San Rafael and Terra Linda — will also hold outdoor ceremonies this week.
“We are proud to be able to honor our deserving graduates with in-person and outdoor ceremonies,” said Christina Perrino, spokeswoman for the City of San Rafael Schools District, in an email.
San Rafael and Terra Linda will also broadcast their ceremonies live for those who wish to view them from a distance.
“Unlike past years, this year all graduates will once again be able to shake hands with dignitaries when they graduate,” Perrino said. “Also, last year SRHS graduates didn’t cross the stage, but they will this year.”
Similar plans are in place at the Tamalpais Union High School District.
“All of our graduations are outdoors,” said Tara Taupier, district superintendent. “We are following public health guidelines.”
The Tam District has three comprehensive high schools—Archie Williams, Redwood, and Tamalpais—and two permanent high schools, San Andreas and Tamiscal.
In Novato, Marin Oaks High School and Nova Independent Study are two of the only schools in the county that will still have drive-in ceremonies in the era of the pandemic.
“Both Novato High and San Marin High are returning to ‘traditional’ in-person graduations this year,” Novato Unified School District spokesperson Leslie Benjamin said in an email.
Tomales High School will also hold its graduation ceremonies outdoors on the soccer field, according to principal John McGurke.
Outdoor graduation ceremonies for most of the county’s private high schools, Marin County Office of Education programs, and several permanent public high schools have been held over the weekend or have occurred this week .
“For the first time since the pandemic, we are returning to Prize Day Field, on the Branson campus, for a celebration that will once again include all Branson students, all faculty and staff, as well as the extended families of senior graduates. “, Jennifer Owens-Blackmon, spokeswoman for Branson, said in an email before the graduation ceremonies on Tuesday.
“After the drive-in graduations and taped ceremony of 2020, and the in-person ceremony of 2021 on Tom Ryan Field with a reduced family guest list, we look forward to welcoming the entire Branson community to celebrate the Class of 2022. .”
Here is an overview of this week’s ceremonies:
Thursday: Redwood High School, 4 p.m.; Tamalpais High School, 6 p.m. Marin Oaks High School, Nova Independent Study, 6 p.m. (drive-thru); San Rafael High School, 5 p.m.; Terra Linda High School, 5:30 p.m.
Friday: Tomales High School, 4 p.m.; Novato High School, 10 a.m.; Archie Williams High School, 4 p.m.; San Marino High School, 6 p.m.