Some high school seniors in the region have a day to mark on the calendar for graduation commencements delayed due to COVID-19.
The City of Manassas recently announced that Osbourn High School will host its graduation at the school stadium at 9 a.m. July 18 — more than a month after the state’s current stay-at-home order expires.
On Friday, Stafford County Superintendent Scott Kizner gave seniors a time a date for county graduation ceremonies: 8 a.m. Aug. 1.
“The live graduation ceremony is contingent upon the orders of Governor Northam,” Kizner said in a statement. “If he determines that we are not allowed to open our schools Aug. 1, or we cannot have large social gatherings, then we will plan an alternative graduation ceremony.”
Earlier this week, Loudoun County Superintendent Eric Williams promised students would celebrate their success with an in-person graduation ceremony, when it is safe to do so.
“We do not know yet when the ceremonies will be held, but each high school with a graduating class will hold a graduation ceremony. You have our word,” he wrote in a letter to students. “Rather than announcing new dates for graduation ceremonies now, we want to wait for better information regarding when it will be safe to hold the celebrations.”
For now, schools will be hosting a “virtual celebration” in June, Williams said.
“Each virtual celebration will be an opportunity for class unity and connection even as we look forward to face-to-face celebrations,” he said. “Principals will engage students in planning these virtual celebrations.”
Here’s where other school divisions have landed, so far, on graduation plans:
Prince William County, Superintendent Steve Walts — April 1, 2020
“I know our seniors are disappointed that in-person graduations in May and June are canceled. I want to thank the community for the many creative ideas we have received. Our high school principals have been working together virtually to discuss potential alternatives, including virtual options, or potentially an in-person graduation in early August. However, we will need to wait to see how the pandemic progresses until we settle on any in-person option.
Fairfax County, Superintendent Scott Brabrand — April 3, 2020
“We are committed, my high school principals and I, to doing everything we can to continue to have some kind of graduation for our seniors, and appropriate year-end celebrations. Our non-virtual graduation ceremonies are not ruled out at this time, however if the governor’s timeline of June 10 remains in place the graduation schedules will be impacted. We have some flexibility in those graduation schedules, but we may need to think out of the box about what graduation looks like. But, I and the School Board, our principals and our Leadership Team, are committed to finding a way to have an appropriate ceremony that recognizes 13 years of education for students. So, my pledge is we will work very hard and work with you and listen to you as we approach these key dates.”
Alexandria City Public Schools — March 25, 2020
Graduation, as you know, is a large gathering and so is simply not feasible at this time. However, this does not mean we can’t have some innovative approach to acknowledging our graduating seniors. We will be obtaining input from our staff and seniors to get some innovative ideas. But rest assured we are planning right now to ensure you do not miss out completely.
Arlington County Public Schools — Online FAQ
These students have worked hard and have been looking forward to this moment for years, so we want to make sure we honor and celebrate their monumental achievement. This will take more time and is a priority for us all. Once a final plan has been reached, we will share it with students and families.