We’ve been hearing rumors that Williamsburg James City County high schoolers will have to endure yet another complication of the statewide shutdown . . . no traditional graduation. The Governor has said that our stay-at-home orders are in effect until June 10th. What the politicians aren’t telling Virginians is that they may again move the goalposts and keep a ban on large gatherings past that date.
The latest suggestion by local school leaders is to let high school Seniors graduate in waves over the course of a week. This suggestion is no better than having a diploma mailed to students at home. The ceremony is not only a culmination of over 12 years of work, but a symbolic end to a significant chapter of their lives, one to be shared with their friends and family. Not having a traditional graduation with the entire graduating class takes away this important milestone.
Update 4/28/20 at 5pm: The WJCC school board sent out an email to parents on 4/28 asking them to say whether their child would attend a virtual graduation, a full traditional graduation ceremony in August or a full traditional graduation ceremony in December.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOU?
If you have a high school Senior who has missed sporting events, prom, saying goodbye to their friends and teachers since the Governor closed the schools, it appears as if they won’t receive an official graduation ceremony with their friends.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Update 4/28/20 at 5pm: Sign the Petition!. A petition has been started to hold a full traditional graduation before August.
Contact the WJCC School Board and Superintendent Olwen Herron, Ed.D, principals at each of the local high schools and tell them you prefer a full traditional graduation ceremony. Offer suggestions on how to have an official ceremony for those who wish to participate.
Lafayette High School Principal – Daniel J. Miani, Ed.D.- Daniel.Miani@wjccschools.org
Warhill High School Principal – Jeffrey D. Carroll, Ph.D.- Jeffrey.Carroll@wjccschools.org
Jamestown High School Principal – Howard Townsend, Howard.Townsend@wjccschools.org
You can also help plan an event for your high school Seniors by collaborating with other parents who would like to provide assistance. Start with your PTA and if they aren’t able to help, ask others in your neighborhood parent groups. Share the petition with other parents.