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Washington & Lee

 Many were wondering how graduation would be done this year, given the social distancing mania the country has gone through in the wake of the pandemic. However, the plans are up and posted for the Class of 2020. In a post on Facebook, W&L laid out what it had in mind so that the students could still get to walk across the stage to get their diploma without risking student health.

“Washington and Lee High School is planning several events to honor our Class of 2020 Graduates,” the school posted in a statement on Facebook, stating that they would also “celebrate the many successes of the Class of 2020 by conferring diplomas, with social distancing in mind.

“We are working hard to recognize the Class of 2020. This year’s graduation will continue our tradition of Eagle Pride as we honor graduates.” This would certainly explain why the timeframe for the graduation plans are listed as going from Tuesday June 9 to Friday June 12. The plan is for the graduates to show up at the W&L parking lot on pre-assigned dates and times, and receive further instructions from there.

An announcement of scholarships before tassels are turned is included in the ceremony, and caps and gowns are, of course, a part of this along with the walk across the stage and the reception of high school diplomas. When each student arrives at the parking lot, they’ll receive their honor cords and medals before the time comes to march across the stage and into the big wide world. W&L also plans to share a digital graduation ceremony with Westmoreland County on their Facebook page at a time that is yet to be determined.

Colonial Beach

Colonial Beach Public Schools were ahead of the curve when it came to COVID-19 and the closure of schools for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. When the initial order came down to close schools for two weeks, the Colonial Beach staff had already begun to prepare.

Within three days of the closure plans were in place and learning packets prepared for students by all teachers. Superintendent Dr. Dashan Turner, Principals Trisha Williams and Michele Coates, along with the teachers of Colonial Beach Public Schools jumped to move forward for online learning and at home packets.

The staff also worked quickly to make sure as many as possible students had internet access to continue their learning journeys in the time of the pandemic. Hot spots were provided to some students as well as packets for those who had no way to connect online. If students are in need of devices or internet the parents are asked to contact the school at cbtech@cbschools.net.

Not only was CBPS ahead of the curve in bringing learning to their 600 plus students, but they also made sure to feed the children as well. With Colonial Beach having a completely free breakfast and lunch program due to the number of students eligible for free lunches the cafeteria staff, bus drivers, and volunteers in town jumped forward to make sure no student went hungry.

The feeding program moved mobile with food brought to various destinations in town, and even directly to students’ homes in some cases, to make sure that children who depended on school meals did not go hungry. Families that want to participate are asked to contact the cafeteria at cbcafe@cbschools.net.

Some of the most hard hit by this devastating viruses are the graduating Seniors of the class of 2020. They have lost their spring sports, prom, and the final few months as high school students. However, CBHS is making sure there is still a graduation for students.

On June 6, graduates will have an assigned time to come in, pick up any honors, and walk across the stage with minimal people there. Each student has 15 minutes of time to take pictures, get their diploma and have six family members see this happen.

The Valedictorian and Salutatorian will be able to give their speeches to their families. Colonial Beach High School Principal Williams  and superintedent Turner presented Matthew Reed with the Salutatorian honor and Madi Newlon with the Valedictorian honors at their homes on Friday.

Colonial Beach teachers and staff are on hand to answer questions and help students in anyway possible. A full information sheet on how grading would work for the remainder of the year was sent to all CBPS parents.

Superintendent Turner was working toward making sure that students would be able to continue to learn long before the closure of schools was called for by Governor Ralph Northam. 

Teachers, paraprofessionals, and the staff of CBPS continue to work to make sure that students do not fall behind during this time of chaos in the world.