The spring of 2020 has certainly been memorable, but not always in the best of ways, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
But while the deadly coronavirus that has spread across the globe has altered many of the ways society does things, it has not stopped school districts from celebrating their senior classes.
From adopting a senior to accolades via social media, school districts are getting creative in finding ways to salute upcoming graduates for their accomplishments. While some districts are still figuring out their activities, including graduation, several have already implemented plans.
The district will hold one its most prestigious events, The Top Academic Scholars, via social media this year. In the past it has been a formal event. It recognizes, honors and celebrates seniors’ academic accomplishments.
In May, scholars will have a photographer safely go to their residence with all the proper precautions and take a porch portrait of the student. Each student has also chosen an MISD staff member who has made a positive impact on their life, and the staff member will be given a yard sign to show off the distinction. Staff members will send in those photos as well.
After all of the pictures are received, the information will be released on the MISD Education Foundation website and social media venues. A video compilation of all the pictures will be released afterward.
“Although classes and events are not being held in person at this time, we wanted the class of 2020 to know that they are missed, we appreciate them, and we still want to celebrate their successes,” Lynn Wilkie, Executive Director of the MISD Education Foundation, said.
“Mansfield ISD is finding innovative ways to recognize seniors online for their accomplishments – from academics to athletics to fine arts and everything in between – to provide them with those special senior moments.”
The district is still planning to hold proms. They have been rescheduled to the following dates, each running from 7:30-11 p.m. at the Mansfield Center for Performing Arts:
Mansfield ISD Prom Schedule
Timberview, June 8.
Summit, June 9.
Frontier, June 10.
Mansfield, June 11.
Lake Ridge, June 12.
Legacy, June 13.
Graduation for each of the schools has also been reset for the following days and times, all at the Center for the Performing Arts:
Mansfield ISD Graduation Dates
Frontier, June 18, 6:30 p.m.
Legacy, June 19, 9:30 a.m.
Summit, June 19, 2 p.m.
Timberview, June 19, 7 p.m.
Lake Ridge, June 20, 9:30 a.m.
Mansfield, June 20, 2 p.m.
Yard signs are also in the process of being provided to seniors. Other activities rescheduled among the schools includes:
Frontier – Senior Cookout, noon June 16 at the school.
Lake Ridge – Senior sunset, June 17 at school, following graduation practice, which begins at 4 p.m.
Legacy – Senior awards, 7 p.m. June 4, LHS cafeteria; senior sunset, 8:30 p.m. at the school.
Mansfield – Senior awards, 6 p.m. June 4, MHS cafeteria; panoramic photo, 7 p.m. June 16, MHS football field; senior sunset, 7:30 p.m. June 16 at the school.
Summit – Panoramic photo, 4 p.m. June 11, SHS gym; senior picnic, 4:30 p.m. June 11, SHS Multi-Purpose Activity Center; senior sunset, 8:30 p.m. June 11, Activity Center.
Timberview held a senior sunrise in the fall.
A group of teachers has organized an Adopt-A-Senior program on Facebook, pairing seniors with sponsors who are doing something special for them.
“During these difficult times for our senior scholars, we want to spread some good cheer. We want to remind all our kids, all 960 of them, that we haven’t forgotten about all their hard work,” DHS English teacher Shaunna Kile said.
“I claim most of the kids as my own by default, and just so happen to have two senior nieces who I know are sad about the lost experiences they’ve looked forward to for a long time. This is an opportunity to bless and celebrate them.”
Also for seniors, DHS administrators are purchasing yard signs for each senior.
A graduation date and ceremony are still up in the air, and prom has been canceled.
CEDAR HILL ISD
While some are virtual and some have been rescheduled, the district has plenty of activities for its seniors.
Of course, social media plays a role as a Facebook Frames project honors seniors with the phrase, “I love CHISD seniors.” An Adopt-A-Senior program is also underway.
On May 1, the district will host Decision Day, when scholars will announce where they will be attending college. Superintendent Gerald Hudson has also planned a virtual meeting with senior class officers that day.
Decision Day is a longstanding tradition in the CHISD. This year, because of COVID-19 it will be virtual. As part of the celebration, scholars are encouraged to create a short a video of one minute or less representing their future plans and upload to https://flipgrid.com/chisddecisionday and wear their college colors or red, white and blue to represent their military plans.
Seniors who make videos and upload them to flipgrid will be entered into a drawing for scholarships from All-Pro Dads and gift cards from The Cedar Hill Education Foundation.
“The importance of this event is to recognize that you are moving on to the next big stage in your life,” CHISD Superintendent Gerald Hudson said. “We want you to know that your community supports you and is proud of you.”
In addition, the Cedar Hill community is asked to represent their college or military branch by posting photos on Facebook and Twitter, using #CHISDDecisionDay.
Also, starting May 15, all seniors will be invited to pick up yard signs at Cedar Hill High School and Collegiate High School.
CHISD Graduation Date June 25
May 21 will be #ApplaudCHISDGrads on social media. All campuses, administration, parents, elected officials and the community will be asked to take a pause to record themselves applauding graduates and sending congratulatory messages and post on their social media channels using the official hashtag.
Graduation has been rescheduled for June 25 at the Mansfield Center for the Performing Arts, time TBA. No decision has been announced about prom or student awards.
“Cedar Hill ISD is doing everything possible to honor our Class of 2020 graduates during this unprecedented and challenging time,” Hudson said.
RED OAK ISD
Yard signs were ordered for the district’s 468 seniors. They are on display via Facebook.
Also, the district is compiling a senior montage presentation, with each senior having a page to honor them. The Education Foundation Top 25 seniors and their most influential teacher/educator presentation, and a top 10 seniors graphic, will also be on social media.
Graduation is still being determined, and no announcement has been about prom. End-of-the-year awards are coming in May with a surprise new format, district officials say.
While times are yet to be announced, Venus High School has several activities planned for seniors, all virtual:
*May 1, Senior Decision Day.
*May 8, academic awards.
*May 15, candlelight ceremony.
*May 19, athletic/cheer/trainers banquet.
*June 1, Blue and Gold Banquet.
No announcement yet on graduation. Prom has been canceled.