District and OH announce senior activities plans, including a COVID-19 safe in-person graduation ceremony

District and OH announce senior activities plans, including a COVID-19 safe in-person graduation ceremony

With the end of what has debatably been one of the most bizarre senior years in history, events are finally seeming somewhat routine and familiar for the Class of 2021. While COVID-19 deprived seniors of homecoming and many of a normal in-school education, a light at the end of the tunnel seems to be here as end-of-year senior activities are being announced. An odd, fever-dream type of year consisting of virtual schooling, new individual complications, and virtual pep rallies is finally having an ending worth remembering.

Arguably, the most important senior year event is the graduation ceremony. As of now, the school district is planning for in-person graduation ceremonies albeit with COVID-19 safety protocols in place. The Olympic Heights graduation ceremony is scheduled for June 9 at 1:00 at the South Florida Fairgrounds. 

In a March 12 letter to seniors and their parents, OH principal Ms. Kelly Burke pointed out that per district graduation ceremony protocols “students will be socially distanced, check-in processes upon entering areas will require additional time, guests for each graduate will be limited, and the spaces for graduating seniors and guests will be divided.”

In the same letter, Burke told seniors and their parents the district has decided that the traditional senior year highlight activities of prom and grad bash will not be held out of safety concerns. However, Burke did state that OH is “working diligently to provide other senior activities that can be managed under CDC guidelines” and that the school “will provide a list of how those activities will be conducted after receiving approvals from the District.”

Another important thing for soon-to-be OH alumni to keep in mind is the attendance requirements. If a senior has exceeded five absences or more in any class (which count as 10 total absences due to block scheduling), they will be required to attend classes past the last day for seniors until June 4. In addition, these students must pass a semester exam in order to demonstrate mastery of the class. Otherwise, the seniors’ last day of school is May 28.

The school district and OH staff are working hard to provide seniors with the most normal possible departure from OH, considering the circumstances. Seniors need to keep track of absences, make sure they have ordered their caps and gowns, and stay safe for the upcoming activities and graduation. This may not be the typical senior year experience, but it sure is one for the history books.