NORFOLK, Va. - The coronavirus pandemic may have thrown a wrench into the plans of many graduating seniors, but Norfolk Public Schools is making sure these students still receive a memorable celebration for their accomplishments.
NPS announced Wednesday it is planning a variety of celebratory activities for the Class of 2020’s graduation in June. These activities include virtual graduations of each of Norfolk’s five high schools, which will be held on the same date and time as originally scheduled (June 8 and 9).
The ceremonies will feature pre-recorded speeches, music and a slideshow of each senior’s picture, name and additional graduation information. This virtual graduation will be livestreamed and shown on the NPS YouTube channel and TV Channel 47.
Additionally, a "Mementos and Memories" event will be held at each high school on June 11 and 12, where graduates and their families can schedule an appointment to pick up diplomas and graduation programs and pose for professional photos in their caps and gowns. This event will be organized in alignment with current health guidelines.
A video salute to seniors will be a video montage of graduate photos taken in their caps and gowns at landmarks and places around the City of Norfolk. This is scheduled for later in June, and a compilation video will be posted on the NPS YouTube channel and on TV Channel 47 beginning the week of June 22.
Finally, on August 3-4, an in-person graduation ceremony will be hosted at the Chartway Arena if permitted under the directives of government officials, advised by medical experts, and supported by state health guidelines. There will be limited seating with social distancing practices in place.
In a letter to seniors and families, Superintendent Dr. Sharon I. Byrdsong said, “I am proud of your dedication and resolve to finish your senior year with grace and tenacity. I admire your flexibility and resiliency as we navigate this uncertain time together. In a few weeks, you will be noted by historians as the graduates of the Class of 2020 who despite a pandemic, successfully fulfilled their academic requirements and learned invaluable lessons in so doing.”