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Friday, May 08, 2020

COMMENCEMENT 2020

The following information was released by Hanover County Public Schools on May 8th:


We hope this message finds you and your loved ones well.  We are writing to share some important news about our plans to celebrate your remarkable accomplishments over the past thirteen years.  Our team has invested significant thought, time, and effort into developing a comprehensive graduation plan that we believe will honor and recognize our seniors in the most meaningful and memorable way possible under such extraordinary circumstances.  While many contributed to this effort, we are especially grateful for the important feedback we received from our students, families, principals, faculty, staff, senior class officers, and others who helped to guide us in our decision-making.
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.  However, we are pleased to offer three unique ways that we will be celebrating the Class of 2020—individually, virtually, and in-person.  We sincerely hope that this demonstrates our strong commitment to honoring you in the best way possible.  The details for each celebration are as follows:               
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:​
o    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 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.   
In the meantime, significant work is still underway.  Our team will continue to work with great care and compassion to finalize our plans.  Our principals will share more details in the coming weeks as they become available that will answer many of your questions.  However, if you have urgent questions regarding Celebration 1 and Celebration 2, you may contact your principal.  If you have general questions about Celebration 3, you may contact Dr. Robert Staley, Director of Secondary Education, at rstaley@hcps.us