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0000017b-652b-d50a-a3ff-f7efb02e0000KPCW's COVID-19 news coverage for Summit County and Wasatch County, Utah. 0000017b-652b-d50a-a3ff-f7efb02f0000You can also visit the Utah Department of Health, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization websites for additional information.

Deer Valley Resort To Host PCHS Class Of 2020 Graduation

Jill Orschel

The Park City High School Class of 2020 will be breaking all graduation traditions this year... and while that naturally brings some sadness with it – school officials are hoping senior can be cheered up somewhat by having a Once-in-a-Lifetime graduation experience.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the classic senior rites of passage, like prom, senior ditch day and the pomp and circumstance of walking across Dozier Field to accept a handshake and diploma are a thing of the past – at least for this year.

Now, Park City High School principal Roger Arbabi says they’re trying to make it up –by planning a graduation event mid-summer – before many of them take off for college, the service, or the workplace. He say they’re trying to celebrate as well as they can, given the circumstances.

Graduates and families have been notified to save the date for Friday, July 31st... a date, Arbabi says they hope that is far enough in the distance that large gatherings can happen once again...

“We know that Summit County was hit hard, Arbabi said. “And I, early on, made a decision that we didn't want to do a virtual graduation - we wanted to have something that was going to be in person. And so, we were holding off and even an event such as the photos for example it was really tough to get that even approved and so we said if we can push it. Back. We read, we looked at a lot of different schools - which schools are doing and we felt like holding off would allow us to be able to do something more personal.”

Graduation day isn’t something that is typically planned by students – so he says they didn’t involve students when planning the July 31st date. They know that not everyone will be able to participate...

“We recognize that there are there students that are not going to be around and I want to tell you that I don't like it but these are really pretty unprecedented times. We’ve had to do the best that we can.”

While there are many details to be worked out, Arbabi says it’s very fluid – and they will have to take direction from both state and local officials as to how big the graduation celebration can be -but he says they’re encouraged...

“We’re kind of excited because we were under the impression that we are going to be going to green which opens up a whole new set of opportunities for us from what we had originally planned,” Arbabi said. “It was kind of a celebration where the students are going up with their families, taking pictures and it really wasn't going to be a traditional graduation ceremony at all -- it was just going to be a photo opportunity with giving us something that was a  Park City feel. And now, we feel like we the doors have opened up. So we're working with Deer Valley, working with the city, we're going to be working with everybody to hopefully pull everybody in and see if we can give them something to remember -- and maybe even include a traditional graduation ceremony in there.”

Arbabi thanked the Miner Nation for their patience and wished the Class of 2020 the best of luck.