R-H to hold graduation

Published 1:49 pm Wednesday, March 24, 2021

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The Randolph-Henry High School (R-H) Class of 2021 will get to take part in a graduation ceremony this spring thanks to Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s announcement Wednesday, March 17, that schools may safely hold in-person graduation.

The announcement also extends to commencement ceremonies at colleges and universities.

The state now recommends graduation ceremonies held outdoors can be capped at 5,000 people or 30% of the venue capacity, whichever figure is less.

Graduation and commencement ceremonies held indoors may have up to 500 people in attendance or 30% of venue capacity, whichever is less.

Officials advise attendees at such events must wear face masks and follow other safety guidelines to ensure proper social distancing.

“Although our ceremony will be different than in years past, we are committed to making it a special time for the Class of 2021,” R-H Principal Erin Davis said. “There are some significant restrictions in place that will force us to think creatively about our ceremony.”

Davis said the school would make every effort to hold the graduation ceremony outdoors in order to maximize the number of guests who may attend.

“If the weather forces our ceremony indoors, we will need to operate at an even smaller capacity,” Davis said. “Regardless of the venue, it is our intention to live stream and record the event for those unable to attend. Once we receive a confirmation on the total number of guests we can accommodate safely in our facilities, our senior families will receive a letter with more detailed information related to our ceremony this year.”

R-H Senior Morgan Lawson said she is grateful that she will be able to have an actual graduation and walk across the stage at the end of the school year.

“This year has been very tough, but to be able to have a graduation has made things so much better,” Lawson said. “I was really worried that it would have to be virtual, but thankfully it was not.  I am so excited to finally walk across the stage and get my diploma.”