When I met with and interviewed the principal of Simon Gratz Mastery Charter, Mr. Dunn, we talked about the graduation procedures for this year. He spoke about how in the years past, a graduation date had been set in advance, and graduation occurred at the Marcus Foster stadium.
He spoke about what graduation would look like this year, saying it all depended on the developments of the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, he revealed the graduation preparation for the Class of 2021 has not yet occurred as the climate related to the pandemic will look different in May and June than now. Last year, they had dates and times for the graduation celebration at this point in the year. It is possible that there will be a normal graduation similar to ones from past years, however, due to the pandemic, Mr. Dunn said it is also likely they will have a graduation at the Foster stadium with significant rules such as limited attendance. He spoke about the network school office making the guidelines for the school district. Simon Gratz will pay for the graduation ceremony, including the music, stage, and decorations.
When I met with and interviewed Ms. Denota, from the School District planning committee, we spoke about the School District’s graduation procedures for the current and rising 12th graders. We also spoke about her opinion on these procedures:
She begins by explaining that as we prepare for our senior year and the culmination of our academic achievements, we stop and think about the traditional prom, class and individual pictures.She says the pandemic gives us obstacles. However, we find ourselves in wonderment of what the spring will bring for opportunities to social gatherings.
Denota also spoke about graduation preparations. She says “we look forward to preparing for the graduating class of 2021, and we hope other activities we have will be accustomed to enjoy but may not come to the senior class trips, the prom and the traditional yearbook filled with enlightening photos.” The graduating class of 2021 has been caught in a cob web of challenges due to the pandemic, but she concluded with the acronym TEAM (Together Everyone Achieve More).
When I met and spoke with a current 12th grader, Shyana Hall-Wear, I asked her how she felt about the graduation procedures this year. She responded that she felt like it was a great idea, because the school was showing that they are thinking about our health and our safety. She said that when it is time for seniors to come and gather their things, it should be like an actual graduation, because a here you go and goodbye is not something you want to hear from a person.
Finally, she said that Simon Gratz Mastery Charter High School should host graduation activities, because it would be fun and the first time everyone will be together. Shyana said it will be great to see everyone for the last time before they are off to college.