As I write to you in my role as your Interim Superintendent, I want you to know first and foremost, that I congratulate you, the Class of 2020, on your success! You have accomplished so much over the past 12+ years and have much to be proud of! At the same time, I share in your disappointment about the current situation. This was supposed to be a time for gathering with friends and families, not of social distancing. As a mother myself, I understand how trying this time can be for you and your families.
While we all recognize the end of the school year cannot be the same as in years past, it is my intent to ensure that you are all celebrated in ways that honor this major accomplishment. As a result, we have decided to move forward with graduation plans that will allow you and your family members to come together to recognize this significant milestone in a way that reflects the current reality we are living and uses the digital tools and social media platforms, which so many of you rely upon daily. That said, I have been working closely with your principals, and we are planning virtual graduation ceremonies for each of the comprehensive high schools and high school programs, which will allow us to continue adherence to Governor Northam’s stay-at-home order. You will be provided with more information soon, as we continue planning for this celebration. Please note that I am not ruling out any future opportunities to celebrate in person, however I do feel it is important to plan for ways we can honor the Class of 2020 now. I understand principals have selected August dates for possible activities in hopes that conditions will have improved by then. I look forward to being a part of those upcoming celebrations.
I also want to take an opportunity to assure you that if you were in good academic standing when schools closed, you will graduate on time. Even if you were not, there is still time to reach out to your teachers, counselors, and administrators to create a plan of success to assist you to graduate on time. I want each of you to have a smooth transition from high school to whichever plans lie ahead for you. If we can help you with that transition, please let us know—your success is our main goal!
We are committed to the Class of 2020 and ensuring your senior year continues to be one in which you will have fond memories that will last a lifetime. I have learned through my personal interactions with many of you over this past year that you are a resilient, adaptable, creative, and responsible group of young people.
I look forward to following your future success and to seeing what positive impact you have on our communities.
Cintia Z. Johnson