WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 2ND, 2020

In their final week of classes, Palo Alto High School seniors will have the opportunity to attend several graduation events and activities.

The senior activities will begin with the baccalaureate service on May 29 from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. Baccalaureate, which will be held at the De Anza Flint Center, is scheduled for Sunday, as it traditionally has been, with the exception of being held on Friday last year. The event will feature student performances as well as speeches by Khan Academy founder Salman Khan and Senior Class President Eli Friedlander. Khan was chosen by Associated Student Body representatives.

“[Selecting the baccalaureate speaker] is one of the class officers jobs, both the president and the vice president,” Student Activities Director Matt Hall said. “They kind of look at their options, [and] contact them and see who’s available.”

Caps and gowns are required for all seniors attending baccalaureate. Distribution took place on May 19, but additional caps and gowns can be borrowed from the Student Activities Office. All caps and gowns are green this year, a change from the traditional combination of white and green gowns.

The performances, as well as student graduation speeches, were chosen by a panel of staff members on May 17 and May 19 through an audition process run by Hall.

“There’s a panel [for auditions] just like last year,” Hall said. “We put it out to staff; who wants to do it? Five, six, seven [staff members respond] — last year I think there was seven.”

The next graduation activity is the mandatory graduation rehearsal on May 31, starting at 8:15 a.m. Immediately following the rehearsal is the senior picnic, sponsored by Paly’s Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA). Buses will take students from Paly to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk for the day, returning at 5:30 p.m.

“The seniors should expect a fun day at the beach with their fellow classmates,” co-chair of the senior picnic Janie Farn said. “Seniors have the freedom to hang out on the beach, do beach sports or go on the rides.”

Because there is no school on May 30 due to Memorial Day, the picnic and graduation rehearsal will take place on the same day, departing from tradition of holding the events on two different days.

“Since Memorial Day weekend is the Monday before the picnic, we lose a day to do the senior activities,” Farn said. “We’ll need to get each activity done efficiently so our seniors can get on to their beach picnic sooner. Of course, this will need all the students’ cooperation on bus loading too.”

The planning process for the senior picnic began a year in advance, due to the popularity of the location.

“We had to sign a contract and paid a security deposit a year in advance in order to reserve this venue,” Farn said. “[Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk] has pretty much become a tradition for Paly senior graduation activity. In addition to [co-chair] Kathy [Spector] and I, there is also a team of parents helping organize the sign up, bus transportation, and school staff and parent volunteers. On the day of the event, we need help on bus loading and chaperoning the trip.”

The graduation ceremony and reception will be held on June 1 on the Paly quad. Tickets for the event will be distributed to seniors during graduation rehearsal. The ceremony begins at 5:30 p.m. and a reception hosted by the junior class will follow.

In addition to the student speakers chosen at tryouts, Associated Student Body president Will Zhou will give the welcome address for the event.

After graduation, seniors will take buses to the Grad Night Party at 8:30 p.m., an event sponsored by the PTSA and held at a location revealed that night.

ring the final week of school, Palo Alto High School seniors will have the opportunity to attend several graduation events and activities.

The senior activities begin with the baccalaureate service on May 29 from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m., which will be held at the De Anza Flint Center. It is scheduled for Sunday, as it traditionally has been, with the exception of being held on Friday last year. The event will feature student performances, as well as speeches by Khan Academy founder Salman Khan and senior class president Eli Friedlander. Khan was chosen by Associated Student Body representatives.

“[Selecting the baccalaureate speaker] is one of the class officers jobs, both the president and the vice president,” Student Activities Director Matt Hall said. “They look at their options, [and] contact them and see who’s available.”

Caps and gowns are required for all seniors attending baccalaureate. Distribution took place May 19, and additional caps and gowns can be borrowed from the Student Activities Office. All caps and gowns are green this year, a change from the traditional combination of white and green gowns assigned by gender.

The performances and student graduation speeches were chosen by a panel of staff members on May 17 and May 19 through an audition process run by Hall.

“There’s a panel [for auditions] just like last year,” Hall said. “We put it out to staff; who wants to do it? Five, six, seven [staff members respond] — last year I think there was seven.”

The next graduation activity is a mandatory rehearsal on May 31 at 8:15 a.m. Immediately following the rehearsal is the senior picnic, sponsored by Paly’s Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA). Buses will take students from Paly to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk for the day, returning at 5:30 p.m.

Because there is no school on May 30 due to Memorial Day, the picnic and graduation rehearsal will take place on the same day, departing from tradition.

“Since Memorial Day weekend is the Monday before the picnic, we lose a day to do the senior activities,” co-chair of the senior picnic Janie Farn said. “We’ll need to get each activity done efficiently so our seniors can get on to their beach picnic sooner. Of course, this will need all the students’ cooperation on bus loading too.”

The planning process for the senior picnic began a year in advance, due to the popularity of the location.

“We had to sign a contract and paid a security deposit a year in advance in order to reserve this venue,” Farn said. “[Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk] has pretty much become a tradition for Paly senior graduation activity. In addition to [co-chair] Kathy [Spector] and I, there is also a team of parents helping organize the sign up, bus transportation, and school staff and parent volunteers.”

The graduation ceremony and reception will be held on June 1 on the Paly quad. Tickets for the event will be distributed to seniors during graduation rehearsal. The ceremony begins at 5:30 p.m. and a reception hosted by the junior class will follow.

In addition to the student speakers chosen at tryouts, Associated Student Body president Will Zhou will give the welcome address for the event.

After graduation, seniors will take buses to the Grad Night Party at 8:30 p.m., an event sponsored by the PTSA and held at a location revealed that night.

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