With COVID-19 still spreading across the United States, it has left many schools questioning what to do about events such as graduation and prom. Numerous schools across the country have already canceled these events, but Lake Shore administrators are doing everything in their power to ensure their seniors get to experience these formative events.
Dr. Joe DiPonio, Lake Shore Public School’s superintendent, has assured seniors on multiple occasions that graduation and prom will be happening, but due to the unforeseeable circumstances the date is still unknown. Nevertheless, there are still potential dates being thrown around.
While some schools have already made the decision to cancel all events, Lake Shore administrators aren’t ready to throw the towel in just yet. Dr. DiPonio says, “When you devote a significant part to an organization like the Class of 2020 has to Lake Shore, you have earned the rights to these moments.”
Although all final decisions regarding these events will be made by the high school’s principal, assistant principal, dean of students, senior advisors, and the superintendent, Dr. DiPonio goes on to explain, “The Class of 2020 will be critical in letting us know how we can do more to make these rites of passage happen either as they normally would, or in some type of alternative fashion.”
Some alternatives other schools have decided they will partake in instead of the traditional graduation ceremony are virtual ceremonies where the whole ceremony takes place online, private graduations where the same routine is followed but in much smaller groups, and even drive-thru ceremonies where students will drive up to their school with their family and pick up their diploma.
Catherine Stacheit, a Lake Shore senior, says, “Having a virtual graduation or anything of that sort would not be the same as a real graduation ceremony, but the class of 2020 should still be honored in some way because graduating high school is a big milestone. We have to work around the situation that we are currently in and celebrate in a way that will keep everyone as safe and healthy as possible!”
Apart from the traditional senior end-of-the-year rituals, schools and their communities have been finding other ways to uplift seniors and the Lake Shore community is not one to miss out.
Just last week, the lights on the Lake Shore football field were turned on for 20 minutes and 20 at 8:20 PM to honor the seniors, and some generous Lake Shore staff members passed out graduate lawn signs to every graduating senior’s home earlier this month.
Ending the school year in the middle of the week in March was not necessarily how seniors imagined their last day of high school would go, but districts and communities are doing all they can to ensure the class of 2020 is appreciated properly for all that they have accomplished.
During these difficult times, it is very easy to adopt a negative attitude when it seems like nothing is getting better, but Dr. DiPonio says, “My advice would be to count your blessings everyday. Simple things like a beautiful sunny day, being able to make someone smile, family life itself. We have much to be thankful for if we take a moment to look for it.”