Caps and gowns are neither on nor off the table

BVH works on a plan for senior graduation


Pablo Dollero

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, BVH seniors are unsure of what the school has planned for the class of 2021. Although BVH Principle Roman Del Rosario, Ed.D, is unsure of how graduation this year might take place; he is keeping an open mind to other people’s ideas and suggestions as long as COVID safety guidelines are followed.

Adali Leon and Madelyn Omelina

For decades seniors in high school have celebrated and ended their high school careers by dressing up in a cap and gown and walking across a stage. However, for the class of 2021, this traditional ceremony will in no way be held in the same manner. 

While there is no set plan for the senior graduation for the class of 2021 at this time, Principal of Bonita Vista High (BVH) Roman Del Rosario, Ed.D,  explains that while keeping safety in mind as a top priority, he is open to ideas for how this special event can be celebrated.

“I’m less interested in pushing an idea of what we could do. I’m more interested in listening and having that idea come from students and their families,” Del Rosario said.

Chief of Education Equity and Support Services for Sweetwater Union High School District (SUHSD) Vernon Moore, Ed.D, explains that administrative teams and ASBs are working together to design a graduation ceremony for the class of 2021 that will be based on guidance from the state and local health authorities. Moore adds that the plans will be reviewed by district leadership in mid-March, where they will provide guidelines to the school administrations. 

“We intend for this to be a collaborative process with each school site so that the 2021 graduations can be great events,” Moore said. 

Assistant Principal of Student Activities Christopher Alvarez shares that he attends weekly Zoom meetings with all the assistant principals of Sweetwater Union High School Districts’ 12 comprehensive high schools, where they have discussed different possibilities and methods for senior graduations. In the conversations, options discussed include in-person ceremonies with limited capacities, in-person ceremonies throughout several days of the week, drive-bys and virtual ceremonies. 

Alvarez and Del Rosario agree that as long as safety is taken into consideration and tier levels begin to drop, there is a higher probability of an in-person celebration being held.

While senior Hannah Cancel does want an in-person ceremony, she is also worried that some people may not follow the necessary procedures and guidelines to keep the event safe. Cancel states that, “It’s really just whatever works. I’ll take what I can get,” and if that means keeping the event online, she won’t be too upset about it.

Alvarez adds that although plans may be uncertain at the moment due to unpredictable COVID-19 changes, everyone is hoping for the best and are waiting to see what March or April will bring, so the school can plan something special for the seniors. 

“At the end of the day I believe in the resiliency of our students and even though this wasn’t ideal, I know that our students are going to move on to accomplish great things and to live incredible, meaningful lives,” Del Rosario said.