Graduations are happening at school districts throughout Cowlitz County this month, though they look quite different due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In Kalama, the entire city is getting in on the celebration as the school district brings an innovative approach to the Class of 2020 graduation with a "drive-thru" style ceremony.
Beginning at 6:50 p.m. on Friday, June 5, graduating seniors will travel by car in predetermined order from a nearby church to the Kalama High School parking lot. There, they will receive their official diploma. To maintain state social distancing rules, students will not be allowed to exit their vehicles and spectators will not be permitted to gather on campus. However, the ceremony will be broadcast on the Kalama High School Facebook page.
Around 8 p.m. a parade-style police and fire escort will lead student vehicles down Elm Street (traveling west), and on to 1st Street (traveling north). The parade will continue its procession to Kalama River Road.
Relatives, friends and community members are welcome to park along the downtown corridor as early as 6 p.m. as the City has reserved this space for the celebration. If you plan to attend, please help the City and school district ensure this remains a safe event by practicing social distancing rules and staying in your vehicle.
A Kindergarten celebration!
Kalama High School Seniors aren’t the only ones with a graduation this month. On Friday, June 19, teachers and staff at Kalama Elementary School will celebrate Kindergarten graduation with a virtual ceremony. Families will receive access to a video compilation of student photos and a song featuring the school’s music teacher.
This article has been updated to include more detailed parade route information.