The 141 students currently in the Class of 2020 at Patrick County High School who were “on track to graduate” are slated to receive a diploma.
However, graduation ceremonies have not been planned due to health concerns.
Schools Superintendent Dean Gilbert said that he and Trey Cox, principal at PCHS “have discussed having a graduation ceremony, but we have not set a date as of yet. We will need to see when these restrictions are lifted and if we will be allowed to have more than 10 people present in the near future. My hope is to have a ceremony at some point in time.”
Cox and Gilbert were among the administrative and school staff on hand April 22 to help distribute class rings and the like to seniors who participated in a drive-thru pickup line.
Some schools have reported plans to host drive-thru ceremonies or use video and online platforms to celebrate the event.
But for now, to mitigate the risk, Cox said that there is no definite plans at this time for any ceremony.
Students who expect to be promoted to the next grade also will be similarly impacted. If a student was set to move forward before school was suspended, they will be promoted, officials said.
Gilbert said that SOL testing has been waived for this school year and the division does not have plans to test locally.
Although ceremonies are not scheduled, Cox said he is hopeful that students eventually will return to the school for senior activities like prom — and graduation.
“We are going to do everything humanly possible to salvage some of your senior activities. Like prom, graduation, senior honor awards, and senior athletic recognitions,” Cox said. “They are a resilient group, they are missing their friends, sports, clubs, and senior activities. I keep reminding them that when it is safe to do so we are going to have senior events,” he added.
“There is no substitution for face to face instruction with our teachers, but our teachers are doing all they can to get the essential work to our students, However, we are in constant contact with our students. Our student services department is outstanding at keeping track of our at-risk students. The class of 2021 should be just fine,” Cox said.