Graduation to be moved online admist COVID-19 outbreak


Amidst the most recent COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak in Taiwan, the Taipei American School Upper School administration decided to pivot from in-person graduation to a virtual ceremony. As of May 18, there have been 2260 confirmed cases in Taiwan, including more than 1,100 local cases of COVID-19. The Taiwan Central Epidemic Control Center (CECC) had to raise warning levels for Taipei City and New Taipei City to Level Three on May 15, strengthening restrictions and preventative measures to control the spread of the pandemic. These measures will be in full effect until May 28. 

Seniors will definitely be celebrating an unconventional graduation this year due to the pandemic. Last year, the Class of 2020 celebrated their graduation on the Lower Field and were able to invite one parent to attend. 

However, with new Level Three restrictions, this is not possible. On May 12, New Taipei Mayor Hou You-yi announced that graduation ceremonies be moved online as gatherings of over five people indoors and of over ten people outdoors are prohibited.  Although the administration has not announced further plans, graduation is to be held virtually this year. 

On May 19, senior students were asked to pick up their graduation gown and cap as well as their diplomas in the Bus Parking Lot at school. Seniors were asked to take individual photos wearing their gaps and gowns while holding their diplomas, and these photos are to be included in a graduation video. 

Although this was not the typical graduation that many seniors had been expecting as various senior traditions did not take place this school year in-person, many feel grateful to be celebrating this milestone. “[Graduation] is an end to the past twelve years of education, from primary school to high school,” Kai Yuan Mor (‘21) (he/him) said. “It marks an end to our childhood, and a beginning to adulthood and more responsibilities.”

Other seniors also share this sentiment. “Graduation is important because it’s not only a finale to our high school careers but also a recognition of the start of the next chapter of our lives,” Lucy Kim (‘21) (she/her) said. 

More information regarding graduation plans will be released soon.