The West Country Outreach (WCO) school is represented by a raven, a symbol of transformation, growth and resilience.
The students of WCO embody those qualities themselves. They have had to navigate their way through the unprecedented times of COVID. Growing in their academics and sticking it out despite the constant change.
All of the students have transformed.
Some graduates of 2020 and 2021 have gone off to post-secondary, others have moved out of the province and town for work. Only a handful are still in the community of Rimbey itself.
After a time of separation, the students and school staff are hoping to bring together former students and staff at their 2022 graduation ceremony in May.
“When we contemplated what we would do for grad we were reflecting on the last few years, ” said Alva Holliday, principal of West Country Outreach School.
“When everything got shut down, the schools were able to do virtual grads. So we did that for the 2020 group, it was not ideal but we did the best we could.”
The school was able to host a virtual grad for the 2020 graduation but 2021’s was disrupted due to the second wave of COVID.
“It was pretty deflating and the kids were disappointed.”
To make up for the lost time this year’s ceremony will be a double feature. It will shine a light on the hard work of both the 2021 and 2022 classes and as their theme says, be “a celebration of togetherness.”
“It’s such a close group that the students themselves don’t mind. It’s not just highlighting their group, They recognize that they are a family here and that the previous group did not get the recognition so everyone was okay with that.”
It’s not just the last couple of years, Holliday hopes to see former students, staff and families.
“Because we’ve been apart for two years, it’s really a time for reconnection.”
Former students and staff are invited to the “celebration of togetherness,” ceremony on May 28 at 1 p.m.