By Shawn Raymundo

To help keep spirits high and celebrate the soon-to-be graduating Class of 2020, San Clemente High School teachers and staff last week delivered special lawn signs to the nearly 700 students who have had to miss out on the final days of their senior year—what most would consider a rite of passage.

“I think the school-aged individuals who are hardest hit by this pandemic and the stay-at-home quarantine are seniors. They have the most to lose,” such as athletics and prom, said SC High Principal Chris Carter.

“They’re not only losing those athletics, they’re losing our plays and our concerts—the end-of-the-year concerts—but they’re also losing . . .  they could be losing their graduation,” Carter said.

As social distancing measures meant to help limit the spread of coronavirus are likely to stay in place for the foreseeable future, the prospects of whether schools will be able to hold a physical graduation ceremony this June are still unknown.

In light of the looming uncertainty, teachers and staff throughout the Capistrano Unified School District worked with their respective associated student bodies (ASB) to show how much they care for their senior students by putting lawn signs on each student’s front yard.

The San Clemente High ASB, Carter said, “decided to order up some signs, and they asked for support from our teachers, and they worked with office staff.”

About 45 to 50 SC High staff members went out to the homes of the roughly 680 seniors to deliver the yard signs that read: “Class of 2020 Senior” with #tritonstrong.

 Carter noted that the district is still discussing alternatives for the graduation ceremonies if the schools are unable to hold one. CUSD and SC High are currently surveying parents, allowing them to suggest ideas for how to honor the senior classes.

“Our goal is to do something live, but in the case that that’s not possible, we’re actually gathering ideas,” Carter said, adding: “Whatever we do, it’ll look the same at all of our high schools.”

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