COVID Recovery: Growing Number Of Bay Area Schools Plan On In-Person Graduations

After last year's college and high school seniors had their graduation ceremonies canceled because of the pandemic, a growing number of this year's graduating seniors in the Bay Area are finding the most anticipated year-end traditions are making a return.

COVID Recovery: Growing Number Of Bay Area Schools Plan On In-Person Graduations

SANTA CLARA (KPIX 5) – After last year’s college and high school seniors had their graduation ceremonies canceled because of the pandemic, a growing number of this year’s graduating seniors in the Bay Area are finding the most anticipated year-end traditions are making a return.

“I’m so happy because I didn’t think I would get an in-person one,” said Paris DeAngelo, a graduating senior at Wilson High School. “This has been a long four years of high school.”

Last week, the Santa Clara student and the rest of the graduating class at her school learned the district decided to hold in-person, outdoor graduation ceremonies on May 28th.

DeAngelo picked up her diploma, cap and gown on Tuesday and then made her way to Levi’s Stadium to get her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Paris DeAngelo, a senior at Wilson High School in Santa Clara, takes graduation photos before receiving the COVID-19 vaccine at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara on May 12, 2021. (CBS)

“I’m actually excited, because I just want things to get back to normal and start getting out there again,” DeAngelo told KPIX 5. “Because I’m tired of being home all the time.”

As COVID-19 cases decrease and health restrictions loosen, other schools are also moving forward with in-person graduation ceremonies, including Palo Alto Unified School District and Stanford University. Each school has its own guidelines to adhere to public health restrictions.

Morgan Hill Unified School District also decided to hold in-person graduation ceremonies the first week of June. The graduating classes at each of its high schools will be split into half, according to superintendent Steve Betando.

“There’s nothing like being there listening to the speeches live, throwing up their caps at the end and everybody cheering them on,” Betando told KPIX 5.

“For the students, they’re getting to choose which graduation they go to. The early one or the late one. So each cohort will have about 150 students,” the superintendent explained. “It is fantastic, it is a great way to end a really tough year and a half of a pandemic.”

Betando said his district held vaccination clinics for local students, which meant seniors were able to get inoculated before graduation day. Another vaccination clinic is planned for this weekend, including administering second doses for many of the seniors or who received their first dose several weeks ago.

DeAngelo said she knows it will be an emotional day not only for her, but her family as well after more than a year of distance learning.

“It’s been a struggle, honestly,” DeAngelo said. “I worked hard for this piece of paper, and I just want to be proud of myself and show it off. I’m going to cry, I’m definitely going to cry.”

Source : CBS San Francisco More   

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It Happens Here: Former Kingston Oyster Farmer Pivots To Fashion With ‘The Oyster Bag’

A former oyster farmer in Kingston is mixing fishing and fashion with the Oyster Bag.

It Happens Here: Former Kingston Oyster Farmer Pivots To Fashion With ‘The Oyster Bag’

KINGSTON (CBS) – A former oyster farmer in Kingston is mixing fishing and fashion in her new business.

“I love our bay, I love being on the water, and if you’re here, you know there are oysters here,’ Brooke Lovett told WBZ-TV.

Jones River Landing is home to the longest continuously run boat yard in the country and in the bay, farmers harvest Rocky Nook Oysters.

Lovett spent almost a decade managing Rocky Nook Oyster Farm.

“It was really fun, it was a lot of hard work. Definitely back-breaking and early mornings and very, very muddy and smelly. It was really fun also to be a female farmer out there, there’s a lot of them, more and more every year,” she said.

But last year the pandemic hit during the growing season. Restaurants closed and with no demand, Lovett decided to leave the industry.

“I pivoted and started working with the materials that we used on the farm and created a bag,” she explained.

That’s the Oyster Bag, which is made almost entirely of aquaculture materials.

“I just thought all of these components people don’t see on a regular day-to-day basis and I really think people are interested in what’s going on out on the farms,” Lovett said.

The former farmer took the heavy-duty oyster mesh, zip ties, rubber bands and rope usually only seen on the ocean floor and brought them to the surface.

Each bag starts with 6- or 9-millimeter mesh, used for breeding baby oysters in the bay. And on the inside there’s another nod to the fishing industry – bait bags generally used for lobstering or crabbing.

The Oyster Bag. (WBZ-TV)

There are three different sizes – petite, market and jumbo bags. Lovett says anyone who is into oysters knows those are the three sizes you can order at restaurants or seafood markets. She also makes a clutch version and a wine caddy.

Lovett said last year five retailers carried the Oyster Bag. Heading into this summer, there are now 35.

The Oyster Bag. (WBZ-TV)

“It kept us really busy and focused trying to create something positive during a whole year of being in the house,” she said.

“I love oysters and I love where I’m from. I’ve lived in Kingston for 20 years. It made me feel good really to come up with a line of bags or a line of products that would work, and I could also tell the story and feel proud about where it came from.”

Source : CBS Boston More   

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