Events in the Academy Community(prom, graduation, senior week)

Events+in+the+Academy+Community%28prom%2C+graduation%2C+senior+week%29

Graphic by Leedy Corbin '20

The Academy has made the decision to postpone Prom, Graduation, and senior week, and either cancel or move all other events online. Prom, graduation, and senior week will be postponed to early August because seniors wanted them to be in person. Everything that can be held online, such as award ceremonies and slide shows, will be held online on the last day of school. Spring athletics, Ex-Ed trips, exams, and Community Day have already been cancelled.
Two weeks ago, Mr. Watson sent a letter to seniors and their parents, asking what they would like to do for graduation. The responses ran strongly against a videotaped, or “student-only” graduation, so graduation has been delayed to early August. According to Stephanie Lipkowitz, “[Graduation weekend] will include commencement, prom, and a modified senior week.” If the August date does not work, graduation and the associated events will be postponed to winter break. Although senior week is definitely going to be different this year, an entire parent committee is dedicated to making it an enjoyable experience. Stephanie Lipkowitz says, “Commencement and Prom will definitely not be cancelled.”
The awards assemblies, slide shows, and the yearbook dedications will all be happening on May 19, the last day of school in a virtual setting. The Senior slideshow, of course, will continue to be produced. Currently, parents are still working on that as well as on Senior Week.
Senior projects have now been adjusted so that seniors only have to work twenty hours a week instead of thirty. Seniors were given an extra week to adapt to the recent changes. Besides seniors with internships that can be continued over zoom, most seniors were required to find something new. Since they wind up with more time, they can even go to their classes if they wish to do so. In addition several teachers offered a number of new online seminars, such as a history of animation, and an examination of the Vietnam War, available to students whose Senior Project plans were disrupted. Golden tickets, or signed slips of paper showing that the senior had met all of the requirements for their classes that year, will not be used this year, though seniors still had to complete all their academic requirements.
A number of spring rituals are cancelled for the year including spring athletics, spring Ex-Ed trips, exams along with blackout days, and Community day. Spring athletics, as you all know, have been cancelled. All spring Ex-Ed trips are cancelled and all unfulfilled Ex-Ed requirements have been dismissed, along with community service requirements. Community day, from two weeks ago, was cancelled and will not be rescheduled. Regarding final exams, Christine Lenhart says, “[Final] exams will be replaced with little projects that will weigh anywhere from 10-20 % of your grade.” Because of this, there will also be no blackout days.
Academy’s summer program has been a topic of interest as well.“Summer session may not happen,” says Stephanie Lipkowitz, “but we will make that decision on May 1 to see if the governor changes the stay at home guidelines.” Christine Lenhart says about the summer program, “[We] are watching similar summer programs. Nothing has been cancelled yet so [we] are still watching.” Summer sessions may be cancelled or possibly offered in a modified form.
In order to make many of the above decisions, the school has been surveying students weekly and parents and faculty every two weeks to see how things are going and what changes need to be made. Plans for the start of the next year are still up in the air, given the unpredictability of the situation.“We are making tentative and flexible plans about what the opening of the school year will be like if there is still risk of contagion for Covid-19,” says Stephanie Lipkowitz. “We are looking at different calendar schedules and different daily schedules, if we have to be online at any point next year. This is a kind of wait-and-see, but be ready, situation.” Nothing about next semester is certain yet. Even so, the faculty and staff at Academy are working very hard to prepare for anything and everything. “We are planning for the worst, and hoping for the best,” Mrs. Lipkowitz says.