Graduation Updates For Seniors

Laila Rahbari

Photo Credit:

Sejal Mohan, Reporter

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an effect on the way events at Seminole High School (SHS) take place. The prior plan for graduation was to hold it in batches based on last name, but as cases continued to spike, the school had to reevaluate how, or even if, graduation would occur.

Zoey Daniels shares “I wanted an event that could be safe but also allow me to have many family members as possible. I look forward to finishing high school and getting my diploma, along with the feeling of accomplishment, and I want my family to experience that with me. However, I do not approve of a big event for graduation because of safety concerns.”

On Feb.19, students received an update on the graduation plans for this years’ seniors. A survey was sent out previously, and the results favored a KWC graduation over a stadium graduation. To accommodate the 905 students of the senior class who are currently eligible for graduating, students will have to graduate in time slots that can be filled with up to 12 students. Students can choose to have their time slot on May 27 or May 28 and each student can also bring up to 10 guests with them.

Neal Chauhan says “I would prefer block graduation groups based on last names, magnet programs, or both. That way, we could have a more normal setting for graduation but with fewer students, and hopefully, more family members per student can come this way. For example, using the stadium with the graduating seniors would allow for more family and friends to come and adhere to social distancing guidelines.”

To make up for the loss of privileges the senior class has on campus this school year, the school is offering a student-only Senior Social Event to pick up caps and gowns on May 25th. This will be held at a stadium. During the event, students will be hearing speeches from their valedictorian, SGA president, senior class president, and others. Aside from the speeches, students get to take advantage of the food trucks that will be brought.

To further maximize the high school experience for the senior class, the school is planning on hosting a special event. A survey was sent out to students with the option to choose between a formal dinner at a hotel and an informal gathering at school. The majority voted for the hotel dinner, and details are yet to be released on this event. The school also insists on holding the Golden Noles Gala which will be at the Swan and Dolphin Resort at Disney. 

Chauhan also mentions “I don’t really approve of other big events for the seniors because COVID-19 is still very prevalent and it would not be feasible for people to properly social distance with almost 1000 seniors in our class. I look forward to the graduation event the most, though, because I get to walk across the stage and see my friends I’ve spent the last four years with a walk across the stage, as well.”

As mentioned, SHS is aware the senior class of 2021 has not had the best high school experience due to the pandemic reducing opportunities for a safe way of engaging in senior privileges. To compensate, the school is still trying to secure graduation and other formal events at a more secure location as it usually would be held in. However, the school still has to consider health and safety guidelines as they make decisions on the specifics of these events. We appreciate the SHS faculty for attempting to provide the class of 2021 a grand, but healthy, celebration they deserve.