By Outer Banks Voice on June 6, 2021
Next week will mark the graduation ceremonies for a group of high school seniors who spent the past 15 months learning under the unprecedented conditions wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic, which first closed classroom doors in March 2020 and led to many students attending school remotely.
One year ago, as school officials and the public debated how to celebrate the 2020 high school seniors amid a pandemic, the graduation logistics were very different.
The “drive-in” ceremonies involved graduates, along with their families and household members, arriving at designated times to receive diplomas and take photographs — scheduled on rotation to adhere to social distancing guidelines that included limiting outdoor mass gatherings to less than 25 people. As a result, the ceremonies at First Flight and Manteo lasted for several days.
In a letter emailed to families in May 2020, while these logistical issues were being thrashed out, Dare County Schools Superintendent John Farrelly wrote that, “I know that this is a stressful time and is frustrating for seniors and their families. We want the same thing — a special send-off for our seniors that they have earned.”
When it comes to that special sendoff, what a difference a year makes,