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Schools across the Forest Lake area celebrated graduations in cars, which has become a popular new normal across the state following Gov. Tim Walz’s orders against traditional ceremonies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
North Lakes Academy held a drive-in celebration on June 2 in the parking lot of Maranatha Church in Forest Lake. The commencement ceremony was under threat of being canceled or postponed further due to storms, but after the stormy weather abated, the commencement ceremony began 45 minutes later.
Lakes International Language Academy held its commencement ceremony on June 4 at its Headwaters campus parking lot, as its 17 graduating seniors students paraded around the school before pulling into parking spots.
Commencement ceremonies for both NLA and LILA were held on stages and broadcast live.
Forest Lake Area High School’s commencement ceremony was pre-recorded, and then broadcast live online and on Lakes Area TV at 4:30 p.m. Friday, June 5. Families then drove to the high school where the seniors could accept their diplomas on a stage as families watched from the cars as they drove in the front of the stage. Public safety personnel from every area where students reside were represented at the high school, including Chisago County Sheriff’s Office, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, and fire and police departments from Forest Lake, Wyoming, and Lino Lakes.
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