Letter to the Class of 2020
(Letter published April 20, 2020)
For decades, high school seniors in America have always been fortunate enough to enjoy some guaranteed rites of passage.
Senior prom. Class pictures. Award ceremonies. Scholarship announcements. Sports banquets. Graduation ceremony. These events have been a staple of the senior experience for generations of young people.
That is, until this year.
It can be stated, without a shadow of doubt, that the Class of 2020 has been dealt an unprecedented hand. We’re all facing new realities at this time, as a global pandemic uproots the natural order and forces the closure of schools, businesses and gatherings.
But as an educator, I feel compelled to point out the profound impact this world event is having on our students—including, of course, the Class of 2020.
No one can pretend to fully understand what high school seniors in Elyria and across America are feeling.
But never doubt that your parents, your family, your teachers and school community wish they could change the course of events to properly commemorate these special moments with you. I hope it encourages you to know that Elyria Schools administrators and staff are actively working on contingency plans for some of the cherished events that have been postponed or redesigned as a result of this shutdown.
With Governor DeWine’s order today, April 20, that k-12 schools will be closed for the remainder of the year, we know end-of-year ceremonies will not happen as normally planned.
But we also all know that your achievements should nonetheless be recognized to the fullest extent possible.
With the coronavirus shutdown lasting through the end of the school year, does that mean an in-person graduation ceremony can’t happen? Possibly.
But could Elyria Schools host some type of virtual high school graduation ceremony? That is a distinct possibility.
The unknowns at this point are quite significant. This applies to graduation, prom, awards ceremonies and virtually every milestone of the senior year.
Despite all this, there are still important things that we do know.
We do know that high school seniors will graduate.
We know that the awards and recognitions you’ve earned along the way will endure in the histories of Elyria High School.
We know that, with the help of your class leaders, we will seek ways—virtually or otherwise—to formally recognize the significant moments of your senior year.
There are special things already planned that you’ll be hearing about from your principal, teachers and senior class officers in the coming weeks. I would like to invite you to send your senior pictures and a short description of what your plans are after graduation to the email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Elyria Schools Communications Office will collect this information to create a photo gallery and related social media posts that will recognize graduates of Elyria High School.
Above all, we want to thank you for staying home and staying safe, putting the health of the community at the forefront.
For the seniors who are essential workers in this time of need: Please be safe.
Follow us on social media and online to stay up to date on the latest developments. You can find us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, and online at www.elyriaschools.org.
Again, I ask that you email email@example.com. We want to hear from you!