February’s Senior Meeting Explains What is to be Expected for the Graduating Class of 2021

Written by Annie Gilbert, Emma Tetreault, Ryan Wright, and Kennedy Vacca

A virtual meeting was held on Thursday, February 4th for Woodgrove’s seniors. The current school year has been a bumpy road, especially for those in the graduating class of 2021. Many questions are being tackled as they come, alongside a feeling of uncertainty for many. The senior meeting discussed multiple areas of concern such as graduation, capstone projects, prom, and testing. 

Amongst a series of technical difficulties, the senior meeting, hosted by Mr. Shipp, provided an opportunity for seniors and parents to get a better understanding of what is to come before graduation day in June. 

With the ongoing pandemic, there are still many dates and formalities that are yet to be determined. One of the largest areas of concern in regards to this issue is how and when graduation will take place. 

Currently, three ceremony types are up in the air. Best case scenario: Woodgrove will be able to host a traditional ceremony on June 17th, given that Covid cases diminish and circumstances are safe. The second possibility is a socially distanced ceremony. In this case, the date would remain on the 17th and be hosted at the school, but social distancing guidelines set by the governor will be followed. Lastly, an individual ceremony could take place on the week of June 14th, similar to what the graduating class of 2020 experienced. 

While the idea of not having a “normal” graduation ceremony may be disappointing, many students are coming to terms with what this school year has to offer. Senior Olivia Brewster says, “I hope that we will be able to have a traditional graduation, but I am glad to know that they are adaptable with the plans to give us the most normal graduation possible within the limits of Covid.”

Other traditional events anticipated by seniors, such as capstone projects and prom, were discussed during the meeting. As of right now, capstone projects are set to occur, but students must have their plan approved before moving forward. Students have higher chances of their project being approved if it takes place outdoors, as many indoor facilities are still shut down or have regulations put into place. If they do occur, students will have the week before and the week of Memorial Day to carry out their projects. 

“If we do some out of the box thinking, and even look at later dates, like around graduation, the situation might be very different because many more people will be vaccinated,” says teacher and senior parent, Tammy Pyle.

Again, with the uncertainty of what will happen with Covid cases, prom is not a guarantee. The current set date is April 23, with a traditional venue arranged, but these details may change at any time.

Woodgrove teacher and senior sponsor Brianne Allis shares how the staff and families are still trying to make the seniors’ year special. “We are working to organize events to celebrate the Class of 2021, as many of the traditional events have been made impossible by the school closure. The PTSO and Senior parents have been working all year to organize special events outside of school due to the closure preventing any on-campus events. We are in the process of organizing more events for the Spring, including a second round of parking space painting in April.” 

On the other hand, there are some things that seniors can be grateful about missing out on such as the End of Year Summative Exams. This year, seniors have the option to be exempted from these exams providing that they maintain a 70% average and are absent no more than two class periods. Information for both will only be taken from the students’ second semester and determined on a class by class basis. 

Exceptions to this include absences due to school organized activities and absences to observe religious holidays. In-school restriction and any other non-school related absences, excused or unexcused, will be counted as absences for this program. Students absent due to extenuating circumstances should contact Mr. Shipp. 

Additionally, if a student is present for more than half of a class, they will be counted as present for the program. Therefore, if a student is tardy or has an early dismissal, they will be counted as present so long as they did not miss more than half of the class.

As of now, the last day of school for seniors is set to be June 4th, as opposed to the rest of the students being released on the 15th. 

Meanwhile, the final day for seniors will continue to inch closer and senioritis will spread faster than Covid-19 as they await the day they can finally walk across the stage in triumph after a not-so-typical final year in high school. 

IMPORTANT LINKS TO INCLUDE: https://sites.google.com/lcps.org/seniorclasscouncil2021/home  

(link to senior website with everything discussed in the meeting)