As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many members of the Class of 2021 have been left in limbo regarding normal senior traditions. On March 17, Henrico County Public Schools gave more clarity to seniors by announcing that all graduations will take place in-person in an outdoor setting.
This change was permitted due to new legislation passed by Governor Ralph Northam outlining plans to permit outdoor graduation ceremonies. These legislations and new safety measurements will allow for “increased crowd sizes.”
In their statement, Henrico County Public Schools stated, “We were already actively planning on having safe, outdoor, in-person graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2021.” Assuring safety, they continued, “we’ll closely follow the latest in state and local health guidelines which will likely mean some new additions to (and differences from) the traditional in-person experience.”
The county’s vague announcement still leaves many questions unanswered, however Henrico County Public Schools said, “high school seniors and their families should expect full information in the coming weeks.”
A few HCPS students used their platform to speak directly to Henrico Schools through comments on Instagram. Freeman senior Kai Hintze implored Henrico County Public Schools to “not make it at our schools [because] that would be so bland.”
The most liked comment on the announcement post comes from Freeman student Zachery Keefer who stated, “well, as long as it isn’t virtual.”
This year has been filled with disappointments and changes for Freeman’s senior class. However, the Class of 2021 can now rest assured knowing that at least one of their classic high school rites of passage will remain intact.
Graduation is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, June 16 at 11 a.m. Graduation was originally planned at the indoor location of the Siegel Center. The new outdoor location is yet to be announced.