Hanover schools to offer 3 different graduation ceremonies to Class of 2020

Hanover County

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Hanover County Public Schools will offer three different graduation ceremonies to its Class of 2020 in an effort to provide a unique experience to students missing out on a traditional commencement.

“Based upon the ongoing COVID-19 public health concerns and the uncertainty moving forward, we do not believe it is realistic or responsible to hold our traditional graduation ceremonies at the VCU Siegel Center on June 13 as originally scheduled,” a release from Hanover schools said Friday.

Instead of gathering at the Siegel Center, students can have an individual graduation experience, take part in a virtual graduation or an in-person graduation. Details of each experience were provided by Hanover schools and are listed below:

Celebration 1: Individual Graduation Experience (Early June)

  • High school staff will schedule appointments with all seniors to arrange for an individual graduation experience with up to five family members or special guests. The appointments will take place within the first two weeks of June.
  • Each senior will be called by name to walk the stage in a cap and gown to receive a diploma.
  • Staff will be on-hand to take keepsake pictures of seniors with their guests. Seniors will also receive a gift.
  • Staff and guests are required to follow all official social distancing and related guidance.
  • Each high school principal will communicate more specific details and instructions soon.

Celebration 2: Virtual Graduation (June 13)

  • On June 13, each high school will release a graduation video that will include remarks from the principal, the superintendent, the valedictorian and salutatorian, as well as a photomontage of the graduating class.
  • The videos will follow a consistent format. Each high school will also include their own unique touches to make the experience more personable and memorable.
  • Each high school graduation team will share further details regarding the graduation video.

Celebration 3: In-Person Graduation (August 8)

  • If permitted by officials, we are actively planning to hold modified in-person graduation ceremonies on Saturday, August 8, at The Meadow Event Park located in Doswell.
  • The ceremonies will be live-streamed and recorded for those who are unable to attend.
  • This plan is fluid and may change due to the unpredictability of COVID-19.
  • The ceremonies will follow the most up-to-date COVID-19 health and safety guidance provided by local, state, and federal officials, including limiting the number of attendees to ensure appropriate social distancing.
  • Each high school principal will communicate more specific details and instructions in the coming weeks and months.
  • The graduation ceremonies will be held as follows:​
    • 9:00 a.m.—Hanover High School
    • o 12:00 p.m.—Patrick Henry High School
    • o 3:00 p.m.—Atlee High School
    • o 6:00 p.m.—Lee-Davis High School

The school district said additional work is needed to finalize its plans and more details would be provided by school principals in the coming weeks, but that anyone with urgent questions or concerns regarding celebration 1 and celebration 2 should contact their school’s principal. Anyone with questions about the third celebration can contact Dr. Robert Staley, Director of Secondary Education, at rstaley@hcps.us

“The Class of 2020 will forever hold a special place in our hearts, and we look forward to honoring you in the coming weeks and months. We sincerely hope that each moment will make you feel special, unique, and valued. We also hope it will remind you that you are loved, supported, and celebrated by an entire community.”   

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