LCIS to host graduation ceremony; Queen’s College opts for virtual ceremony

Lyford Cay International School (LCIS) will celebrate its 15th and largest graduating class (23 students) in the school’s history with a graduation ceremony on Wednesday, June 10 at 5:30 p.m. at the St. Paul’s Field, following government-mandated social distancing protocols in the era of COVID-19.

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced in his Communication to Parliament on Wednesday, March 28, that commencement and graduation ceremonies may take place in groups of now more than 30 with the approval of the competent authority.

Along with the ceremony, the LCIS event will also have a virtual component. For the first time, the graduation ceremony will be broadcast live on various online platforms, including the school’s Facebook page, to allow relatives and friends in The Bahamas and around the world to be able to tune in live to show their support for our graduates who have worked so hard to get to this day.

“We are so excited to be able to celebrate our graduates in this unique way,” said O’Neil Bain, LCIS marketing and communications director.

“The Class of 2020 has had many successes and has shown resilience and courage through what has been an uncertain time for people all around the world. They have been accepted to some of the most prestigious universities in the world, and we know that they  will continue to inspire excellence in their future endeavors,” said Bain.

Queen’s College (Q.C.) will join LCIS this week in graduating seniors.

QC will celebrate its 150 seniors with a virtual graduation ceremony.

Reverend Henry Knowles, Q.C. principal, said they made the decision to host a virtual graduation, because they could not stall time in hopes of an opportunity for a face-to-face graduation. He said trying to create some form of improvised face-to-face moment was too precarious for them.

“We cannot take the risk of a ceremony not being able to happen at all, and we certainly do not want to operate in the fringes of executive orders to put our staff, students or supporters at health risk. We have 150 graduates, so a drive-up ceremony or multiple mini ceremonies stretched between multiple days are not practical for us,” said Knowles.

The principal said like previous graduation ceremonies, they want staff, family members and supporters to be able to be a part of the “glorious” event in the students’ lives. He said redacted or improvised ceremonies would not allow for it.

“A virtual ceremony will give everyone access,” he said.

The virtual graduation ceremony with the theme “Vision of Excellence” will take place Friday, June 12 at 10 a.m. It will be live-streamed on the Queen’s College YouTube channel, Facebook page and website.

“Some graduates are already planning viewing parties in their homes with their family. I heard from some parents that they will be taking the day off from work to be a part of the moment. Others assured that they will be tuned in on their cell phones and office computers,” said Knowles.

The principal told The Nassau Guardian that they are in the final production stages of what they anticipate will be a top-class virtual event, of which their graduates, parents and community will be proud.

The Anglican Central Education Authority, which has purview for St. John’s College, St. Anne’s School, Bishop Michael Eldon School on Grand Bahama and St. Andrew’s School on Exuma, will live-stream their ceremonies for families and friends.

Temple Christian School (TCS) officials have said their graduations will be largely conducted by virtual means.

The Catholic Board of Education (CBE), which has oversight for Aquinas College, Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic Academy (MSSCA), Sts. Francis & Joseph School, St. Cecilia’s School, St. Thomas More and Xavier’s Lower School, has high school graduations tentatively scheduled for Aquinas College and MSSCA high schools for July 30, according to Claudette Rolle, director of Catholic education told The Nassau Guardian earlier.

Aquinas College has 86 students graduating. MSSCA has 28 graduating students.

CBE Exodus Mass/Service for sixth grade students will be done via a virtual format.

St. Cecilia’s School will graduate 51 students.

Sts. Francis & Joseph School will graduate 60.

St. Thomas More will graduate 53.

Xavier’s Lower School will graduate 42 children.

Schools were closed since March 16, with in-person, face-to-face learning suspended after The Bahamas confirmed its first case of the new coronavirus.

The Bahamas has 103 confirmed COVID-19 case as of yesterday, June 7. There have been 11 deaths, 62 recovered cases, one hospitalized case, 30 active cases, and 2,203 tests have been completed.

Worldwide there are 6,939,869 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 400,792 deaths.

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Shavaughn Moss

Shavaughn Moss joined The Nassau Guardian as a sports reporter in 1989. She was later promoted to sports editor. Shavaughn covered every major athletic championship from the CARIFTA to Central American and Caribbean Championships through to World Championships and Olympics. Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.

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