A Message to the Class of 2020

Seniors and Parents,

The Class of 2020 is a special class! This is the first class of students born after September 11, 2001, one of the most difficult periods in our country’s history. Now, here we are again facing another one of those challenging times, and I know this group will be stronger and experience great success as we emerge from this challenge. Even though this is a difficult time, you have certainly earned congratulations on your accomplishments. You are on the cusp of achieving a milestone! The Class of 2020 is a gifted group of students, and your determination and class have been inspirational!

The COVID-19 pandemic has created many hurdles for us all, and we know our seniors are uniquely Impacted. The second semester of a student’s senior year is a time all students look forward to, and our hearts are heavy over the loss of those special moments and experiences for the Class of 2020.

Please be assured that we do not intend for graduation ceremonies to be among those lost moments. We do not know the form graduation events may take at this point or the exact time frame they will be held, but know we are looking at all options. For the safety of staff, seniors, and families, the district is postponing our original plans for graduations and proms. The decision is not an easy one, but we feel it is what we must do at this time. There is a lot unknown about our current situation, but we are committed to doing everything possible to provide the graduation experience for the Class of 2020.

This is not how you expected your last year of high school to end, and it is okay to be upset about that. You are allowed to feel the full range of emotions during this unprecedented time. This season is not only special for seniors and their families, but also for your teachers, principals and other staff in your school who have watched you grow over the last 13 years. We are disappointed that you are losing some of those moments too, and we will do everything in our power to create special moments for you.

The district has formed a committee to explore alternative dates for graduations and proms, and we will be communicating potential solutions after Spring Break. Additionally, we will be consulting with your peers on the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Committee (SSAC), led by President and Student School Board Member Jeremiah Taylor, a senior at CSAS. We need your wisdom and insights as we work through this together. If you have an idea about graduation or prom, please share them with us here.

Last year Hamilton County Schools was the fastest improving school district in the state of Tennessee, and you were leaders in achieving that goal! Many of you have earned scholarships to two-year or four-year institutions, enlisted in the armed forces, received job offers or have other post-secondary plans. We are so proud of your hard work and although this is a challenging situation, this does not take away from your accomplishments! You deserve to be celebrated, and we will find a way to do that! Thank you again for being the leaders you are and for showing the community, state and nation how #HCSLeads during moments of challenge. Be well and do good!

We Are Hamilton!