East County graduations begin next week; first in-person ceremonies since pandemic began

Grossmont Union High School district is holding in-person commencement ceremonies for all 20,000 students in the district this June after two years of virtual celebrations.

GUHSD Superintendent Theresa Kemper said the class of 2022 and their families deserve the pomp and circumstance of traditional in-person graduations.

“Consider everything that the Class of 2022 has been through over the last two years: school closures, distance learning, spending a majority of the 22-23 school year under state masking restrictions that made building relationships with teachers, which are the cornerstone of teaching and learning and their friends harder, restrictions on extracurricular activities, ever-changing guidelines and schedules, and so much more,” Kemper said.

This year’s graduating seniors were sent home for an extended spring break as sophomores in February 2019 to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic which had just emerged in San Diego County at the time. Those same students finished their sophomore year through distance learning, completed their junior year almost entirely from home and just received the go-ahead to take their masks off in the classroom in conjunction with updated California state requirements on March 3.

“Our district has worked extremely hard to meet the educational needs of our now graduating seniors at every step. In addition to opening for in-person instruction before most public high school districts in California over the last two years, we provided additional support for students and extended learning time,” Kemper said.

Additionally, Kemper said, COVID relief funds have been used to provide tutoring, counseling, and social and emotional support for students.

As of May 19, the virus was still present on some district campuses including 14 active cases at El Cajon Valley High School, 20 at El Capitan High School, 32 at Grossmont High School and 14 at Santana High School. Most others in the district had at least one case.


Wednesday June 1
1:00 p.m. – ELITE Academy – Commons Room

Thursday June 2
10:00 a.m. – REACH Academy – Common Room
12:00 p.m. – Chaparral – Outside Stage
1:30 p.m. – MERIT Academy – Patio
6:00 p.m. – El Capitan – Stadium
6:00 p.m. – Santana – Stadium
6:00 p.m. – Helix Charter – Stadium

Friday June 3
8:00 a.m. – Granite Hills – Stadium
8:30 a.m. – West Hills – Stadium
9:00 a.m. – IDEA Center – Field
9:30 a.m. – Valhalla – East Lawn
10:00 a.m. – Grossmont – Stadium
6:00 p.m – El Cajon Valley – Stadium
6:00 p.m. – Mount Miguel – Stadium
6:00 p.m – Monte Vista – Stadium

Monday June 6
5:00 p.m. – Grossmont Middle College – Main Quad at Grossmont College

Thursday June 9
6:00 p.m. – Steele Canyon – Stadium

Wednesday June 15
6:00 p.m. – Adult Education – Front Lawn