Letters

Letters to the Editor: F.C. Schools Need To Clue Us In On 2021 Graduation Format

Letters to the Editor: February 11 – 17, 2021

Editor,

FCCPS should already have alternate graduation ceremony plans in place for the Class of 2021. If so, what are they? And if so, announce it publicly and prominently.

If FCCPS hasn’t already begun planning for graduation then preparations need to begin immediately. Acting now can ensure some sort of formal graduation ceremony for seniors and families. I’m not talking about merely a car parade like in 2020. It was better than nothing, but Covid-19’s onset in March 2020 and restrictions left no time to plan an alternative graduation. I support holding the car parade again but not as the lone alternative. I think it should become a permanent tradition and not merely a consolation prize during a pandemic.

If it can’t be an all-in-one (entire Class of 2021) ceremony, you can apply the hybrid schooling model to graduation. Break the seniors into smaller groups and hold identical ceremonies over time so students and their family can attend, for example 40-50 students over 5 days. Having multiple graduations is better than no graduation at all. Stream each day so classmates and others who can’t attend in person, grandparents and other family, can watch days they want.

You can hold graduation outdoors on MS-HS property to avoid indoor restrictions. It increases the odds of a larger number of seniors and family gathering outdoors than indoors. It also increases the odds of a traditional-style graduation if an all-in-one ceremony isn’t possible.

Another alternative to plan for is it might be possible to hold graduation in the new HS gym — again, in hybrid fashion. It’d be a great way to open and celebrate the new school.

Thank you to FCCPS and the School Board’s time and attention to this once in a lifetime matter. Please develop as many alternative graduation options as possible so the Class of 2021 has some type of formal graduation ceremony. Again, if there are alternatives, share them as this has been a possibility to consider since at least June 2020. Don’t deny another senior class the chance to walk down the aisle.

Dave Rifkin

Falls Church


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