School Graduations and Reopenings

Many schools are finally coming to an end with seniors graduating. Some students are getting to graduate in person , while some are having to take part in a drive-thru graduation. Busch Gardens in Virginia is hosting outdoor ceremonies with students able to walk across the stage while their families sit in cars. The ceremonies will have student speeches and after immediately returning to their vehicle, fellow classmates can view each graduate on a jumbo screen in the parking lot. 


The 49ers and Chegg Inc. are partnering to host a ceremony for seniors on live stream on May 30. Michelle and Barack Obama are having a virtual graduation on June 6 titled “Dear Class of 2020,” featuring celebrities, inspirational leaders, and youtubers. On May 16, CNN aired a special for the class of 2020 that lasted two hours. Barack Obama, Malala Yousafzai, Zendaya, and the Jonas Brothers contributed to the commencement.


As summer break starts for students, it comes with the questions concerning next school year. Schools that are planning to reopen in the fall will clearly undergo drastic changes, many following guidance from the CDC who recently released a 60-page document. The CDC has made clear they’re  recommendations, not rules that should replace state or local laws.


Classes will be smaller, buses will carry fewer kids, and teachers will have staff meetings via video conference. Students will have to avoid sharing supplies, and precautions like temperature screenings and continuous disinfecting will be implemented. Having staggered drop off times increases social distancing along with having lunch inside classrooms instead of cafeterias. School administrators will have difficulty in trying to impose safety restrictions.


Other schools are contemplating whether to open their doors for full in-person learning or not until a vaccine or cure is available. In Washington D.C., a group of advisers has developed a report with four phases of reopening. It proposes students to arrive at school on modified schedules, able to switch between that and distance learning classes. The report explains families should have a choice of sending their kids to physical school or not.


Some teachers in England are unsure of reopening schools on June 1, after evidence was published from the government’s scientific advisers on the topic. They disagree, not thinking it a wise decision and the evidence inconclusive and containing gaps in knowledge. Several parents need school to reopen so their children can get free meals or because of work, while other parents are highly cautious and can’t take the risk of having them go back.