Everyone has experienced changes in daily routines because of social distancing practices to control the spread of COVID-19, but the closing of schools and the cancellation of activities for groups to ten or more has hit the class of 2020, especially hard. They have experienced uncertainties about when or if prom and commencement might happen. Spring sports and music concerts were canceled, and senior year traditions that usually provide students and parents the opportunity to savor a moment of pride were gone too.
There are many different perspectives to navigating through this challenging time. This is just a small sample of responses from teachers and parents with students in the Class of 2020 who were asked to share reflections and reactions as their children reached this milestone. More parent reflections can be found on page 8 of the Excel publication, or click here for the article “A Salute to our Class of 2020 Seniors.” if you’d like to view a full list of our graduating class, click here.
To say we are heartbroken that our children are missing so many milestones is an understatement. It is about not only losing so many “lasts”, but also so many “firsts”.
Our seniors are missing so many events as they step into the next phase of their lives: college visits, orientations, and quite possibly the first-year on-campus experience. The worst part is the uncertainty of knowing if the world will EVER get back to some kind of normal.
We have been trying to focus on the positives that are coming out of all of this. We are so grateful to live in a community that rallies in times of crisis to support each other. So many wonderful businesses and individuals are going out of their way to show the senior class of 2020 that they are not forgotten. From yard signs, banners, newspaper, TV recognition, Adopt a Senior groups, and prom/post-prom committees doing everything they can to honor these young men and women. We feel very grateful and humbled.
For me, my response to all of this is doesn’t feel real. Kailey is my only child. I only have one opportunity to get to experience my child graduate, the ceremony, the party. I’m upset that we didn’t get to do her college signing for cheer… we were supposed to go March 31st.
She’s missed a lot of lasts her senior year due to medical, and now this virus took away the last part of senior year, some of the best months. For Kailey… at first, she was sad, annoyed even mad about it at times. But she’s loving how the community is coming together to do what they can to make things special for the graduating class. She’s happy they didn’t take away prom completely and figured out a way to do something for them. She’s still hoping for an actual graduation ceremony and knows that I will have a party for her no matter how late in the year I have to do it. We’ve both felt the devastating feelings of what has been lost and now are looking towards the positives. While they’ve lost so much, they are also getting things that no other graduating class has, and hopefully, it stays unique to their class. The yard signs, the banners, the “adopt a senior” programs, the Downtown Prom, etc. Those things were done to celebrate them in a hard time. It should be how they can look back and say, “yeah, we missed out on so much, but look what people have done for us.”
The VSCSD Staff members that made up the 2020 Senior Advisors were offered the opportunity to give words of encouragement and affirmation to the students they have spent the last four years with. Read what they had to say in, “A Message To Our Seniors.”