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News Release: FMPSD Announces Virtual Graduation Plans 

News Release: FMPSD Announces Virtual Graduation Plans 

(Fort McMurray, AB, June 2, 2020) Fort McMurray Public School Division (FMPSD) is pleased to announce plans for this year’s graduation ceremonies. École McTavish High School, Fort McMurray Composite High School, Westwood Community High School, and Frank Spragins High School have planned virtual graduations to be live streamed as follows: Westwood: June 26 at 9 a.m., Composite: June 22, 9 a.m, McTavish: June 23 at 9 a.m., and Frank Spragins is slated for June 25 at 7 p.m.

As COVID-19 concerns continue, social distancing measures will be in place when graduates take official photos in their caps and gowns and “walk across the stage,” with only one student photographed at a time. 

“We couldn’t let this important day pass by without celebrating our incredible students. Our staff and school leaders are working hard to ensure students have a memorable graduation experience despite current circumstances. It’s our way of thanking them for their patience and understanding, and congratulating them on this milestone achievement,” said Jennifer Turner, Superintendent, FMPSD.

“Our graduates have been waiting for the opportunity to walk across the stage for many years, and we are now organizing things so they can happen safely in the COVID world. We know that this group was special, being our first graduating class, and we felt for all of them, as well as the other grads in town, who were missing out on the ‘normal’ graduation experience,” shared Scott Barr, Principal, École McTavish High School.

“We hope our students enjoyed the social media posts celebrating them, the large parade of staff to deliver their grad cap, gown, and lawn signs, and look forward to sending home information on the next phase of celebrating their graduation. While this graduation is not what any of them imagined, we hope it will become a positive memory for them all,” Barr added.

Dan Tulk, Principal, Composite High School, echoed similar sentiments.

“Graduation is a special event anticipated by students. While the current COVID-19 restrictions have changed what we had planned and envisioned for celebrating this milestone in their life, our team at FMPSD and Fort McMurray Composite have worked to devise a plan, which will allow our students to still have a special day celebrating them and their achievements. This may not be the traditional graduation that everyone thought, but, it will certainly be one to remember.”

James Hayward, Principal, Frank Spragins, shared:

“I know how hard each of our students has been working towards graduation, and my heart goes out to each and every student in this year’s graduating class. Although we are frustrated to not be able to offer our graduates a traditional ceremony at the end of their school year, I am excited that we are now able to offer a form of recognition for our graduating students that will bring a celebratory process into place soon. I know that many of our students have endured and overcome challenges and obstacles throughout their educational journey, and their graduation is something, which should be celebrated!” 

Cynthia Shelley, Principal, Westwood Community High School noted:

“We know how important a ceremonial piece is to our graduates and their families, so we are working hard to make it happen for our graduates. It is important for us to make sure that our graduates feel honoured, especially in these times of social isolation and uncertainty. In addition to the virtual grad, we will be celebrating them with lawn signs, personal recognition on social media, and our grads will also have the opportunity to walk across that graduation stage in a COVID-friendly fashion. We may have needed to get creative with how to celebrate graduation this year, but we are tremendously excited to still be able to celebrate our students in the graduating class of 2020!”

Congratulations Class of 2020!

Further details can be found on school websites:

Fort McMurray Composite High School: https://comp.fmpsdschools.ca/

Frank Spragins High School: https://frankspragins.fmpsdschools.ca/

École McTavish High School: https://ecolemctavish.fmpsdschools.ca/

Westwood Community High School: https://westwood.fmpsdschools.ca/


For more information, please contact:

Kiran Malik-Khan

Communications Manager          

Fort McMurray Public School Division