Graduation Ceremonies to Be Held Virtually Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

Graduation Ceremonies to Be Held Virtually Due to COVID-19 Pandemic
Posted on 04/24/2020
DecorativeFor Immediate Release
April 24, 2020
Contact: Steve Edwards, Coordinator of Policy and Communications
540-662-3888 ext. 88235

(Lee el comunicado en español: Las Ceremonias de Graduación se Realizarán Virtualmente Debido a la Pandemia de COVID-19)

Frederick County Public Schools Superintendent David Sovine has announced the graduation ceremonies for James Wood, Millbrook and Sherando high schools will be held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sovine says, “After considering many factors, most importantly the health and safety of our students, their families and school staff, we have made the difficult decision to hold virtual graduation ceremonies for each of our three high schools. While I understand this is disappointing and sympathize with those who were hoping we would be able to hold commencement exercises as we normally would, it’s important that we adhere to the Governor’s stay-at-home order which currently extends through June 10. Even if that order was lifted early, it would be extremely difficult to hold these important ceremonies in a way that would adhere to the social distancing and other actions health officials have recommended in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Although this year’s commencement exercises will be held virtually, they will each include the planned speeches, special recognitions, awarding of diplomas and traditions that make the ceremonies at James Wood, Millbrook and Sherando special.”

Each high school will stream its virtual graduation ceremony on its Facebook page at the date and time the commencement exercises were to have been held prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sherando High School’s ceremony will begin at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 3. James Wood High School’s commencement will start at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 4. Millbrook High School’s ceremony will begin at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, June 5. Once the livestream of each ceremony has concluded, a recording of the event will be made available on the respective high school’s Facebook page. Each high school’s senior awards program will also be held virtually on Facebook. The dates and times that those programs will be streamed on Facebook will be communicated once they are finalized.

Sovine says, “While I recognize there’s no true substitute for gathering together in a live environment to recognize the accomplishments of the Class of 2020, streaming the virtual commencement exercises on Facebook will allow individuals and families to watch the ceremonies together and engage with others virtually to celebrate each graduate. I have no doubt that each high school’s administration and staff will work collaboratively with our media team to be certain the virtual graduation ceremonies are both meaningful and memorable. Our high schools are also looking at additional opportunities to recognize our graduating seniors, including the possibility of having students receive their diplomas at their school during a controlled event at which social distancing and other recommended safety actions are practiced.”