EDMONTON -- Some Edmonton high schools seem to be taking a page out of the playbook from successful fast-food franchises.

McNally High School and M.E. Lazerte both hosted “drive-thru” graduation ceremonies this week, and the Edmonton Public School Board says at least eight others have used similar models.

The model is designed to allow grads to celebrate their achievement while practising safe physical distancing.

Brant Harker, a McNally High grad, showed up in a van full of family members including his grandmother, who popped out of the sunroof to cheer on her grandson.

Drive-thru graduation ceremony

“Initially, when COVID hit, I was worried about it,” Harker told CTV News. “But this is awesome, like they put so much effort into this.”

When students arrived in family vehicles, they were handed a grad package, including their caps, then directed to an outdoor stage. Each grad had a solo moment onstage, for their families to take photos.

“It was definitely different from our initial plan, like for a normal grad,” said grad committee member Simone Bruneau.

“We needed to be really creative and work with our students and parents and staff to quickly pivot,” principal Lisa Wright told CTV News.

At M.E. Lazerte’s Tuesday ceremony, a stage was set up in the bay doors of the school’s auto-mechanic shop.

Some students admit they expected something different when they pictured their own graduation, but many were thankful. Many students in Edmonton had only online graduations, or no spring ceremony at all.

“This is actually really nice. I actually like it,” said Heritage Gbibel.

“I'm honestly really grateful that our school was able to do something like this for us,” Kaillyn Tennis and Amaia Hoflin told CTV News. “The teachers honestly put a lot of effort into this.”