2020 graduations are like no other; heck the final months of schooling have been like no other! Covid-19 required everyone to quarantine to remain healthy and schools were closed for the remainder of the school year. As a result, students, parents, teachers and administrators attempted to provide an educational program with varied success. Janitorial staff cleaned and disinfected school buildings for the days when all return. Cafeteria staff prepared meals for students who normally receive breakfast and/or lunch with bus drivers delivering them to student homes or parents driving by and picking up the meals.
When I was a grades 7 – 12 high school principal and later a grades 5 – 8 middle school principal in upstate New York, graduation day was a big deal for the young people at my school. Eighth graders had a “moving up” ceremony and high school seniors wore caps and gowns and walked across a stage to receive their diploma. These hand shake moments were once in a lifetime events to be celebrated.
Covid-19 changed the ceremony for all this year. Kudos to the school administrators who held drive-by ceremonies … with music and other masked, physically distanced teachers … while you dispensed diplomas to seniors, or made a special home delivery of each senior’s diploma, and the numerous lawn signs available to recognize the students.
While I fretted for years whether a ceremony could be held outdoors before high winds or a down-pour of rain hit the area, I never imagined a school year and year-end ceremonies being disrupted by a virus. Thanks to all school faculty and staff for your service in educating, caring and supporting our young people. Congratulations students; stay healthy so you can be ready for your next step in life!