Chamlian Armenian School celebrates each Kindergarten, 6th, and 8th grade graduate amid the COVID-19 Pandemic
In times of unprecedented obstacles, the need for creative and out of the box solutions becomes a necessity. At Chamlian Armenian School, a multitude of unique solutions were put into action in order to ensure each and every graduate felt appreciated, was celebrated, and had the opportunity to be honored for their accomplishments. Utilizing both virtual as well as physical platforms, Chamlian Armenian School succeeded in enforcing physical distancing guidelines and observing all CDC guidelines while still providing a graduation that all involved can be proud of.
The Kindergarten and 6th grade students were given a very unique and individualized experience through which families drove onto campus to find a beautifully decorated banner and balloons. A cheering crowd of teachers applauded as families exited their vehicles, made their way down to an arch of balloons and a table with gifts as well as diplomas; pictures were taken and words of congratulations and pride were shared. Each graduate was given a personalized short speech by Principal, Dr. Talin Kargodorian.
8th graders, celebrating their final graduation at Chamlian Armenian School, were celebrated in three ceremonies with three groups. A stage was set up outdoors with banners and balloons and chairs for families were placed over six feet apart from one another. Speeches were given by 8th grade teachers as well as principal Dr. Talin Kargodorian in what was the most creative improvisation of a more traditional graduation model. Our 8th graders experienced a more personal, yet communal graduation together as they stepped onto the platform of high school. Being the group going on to become members of the Chamlian Alumni Family, our 8th grade graduates also enjoyed a number of other virtual and in person celebrations such as a “Get To Know Our Graduates” two week social media campaign highlighting each individual graduate, A paw print mural in which students left their Tiger hand-print on the school wall, a tribute video created to sum up their last 8th grade year, a drive through parade, and a huge surprise delivery of a complimentary yearbook, planting kit, a graduation banner, a graduation t-shirt, a Chamlian face mask, and a framed picture of each graduate delivered to each individual 8th grade home by members of the faculty and administration.
These modified avenues of promoting the students were not simply in lieu of a traditional graduation but rather served as a more personal and intimate way; a new and innovative method of highlighting the milestone achieved throughout ones journey in education as they move on to greater accomplishments. Even under the circumstances of a global pandemic, the Chamlian teams’ collaborative effort in both creating a beautifully decorated and well organized graduation platform as well as capturing this unique experience serves as a testament to the schools flexibility and high standards when it comes to their students. ARKA Photography was also hired to capture these special events and create a DVD of the experience for parents to cherish.
When asked for commentary, Dr. Kargodorian said, “As we collectively navigate and successfully overcome this challenge, I constantly keep all of our students in my thoughts. They are the powerful force that inspires us to expand our innovation and allow our creativity to thrust forward. I’m so proud of all the hard work and dedication our amazing teachers and Chamlian families continue to display; it’s become a compelling and direct contributing factor to such an outstanding Distance Learning Program as well as such a unique graduation experience for each of the graduating grade levels. Our faculty and staff doesn’t recognize the word “impossible”! it’s only impossible until it’s done; that’s when we identify greater goals and continue to expand our vision. The continued expansion of our 21st century thinking was highlighted all the more throughout the three graduations we celebrated on our campus while maintaining CDC guidelines. Furthermore, the sheer resilience and dedication our students have displayed under the circumstances is definitely something to celebrate. They have overcome this challenge and come out stronger, wiser, and more powerful than ever. I am incredibly proud of all of them and I am beyond thankful to my amazing Chamlian team.”