ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Md. — Superintendent George Arlotto announced the cancellation of all high school proms, but said he is excited about the ongoing planning of events to celebrate members of the Class of 2020.
“Prom is a rite of passage and a highlight for almost every senior, and we have held out hope that we would be able to hold those events in some form or fashion,” Dr. Arlotto said. “Maryland’s recovery plan announced by Gov. Hogan on Friday is a common-sense approach to rebounding from the coronavirus pandemic, but the timeline and the ongoing restrictions on large-group gatherings unfortunately do not allow for us to hold proms.”
High school graduation ceremonies, which are set to begin May 29, have not yet been canceled, but Dr. Arlotto said high school administrators are busy planning various ways to host virtual versions of Senior Awards Night and similar events to honor soon-to-be graduates.
Audio tributes to seniors are also in the works, and details will be announced in the coming weeks.
“This is not a place we ever envisioned being when the school year started, but circumstances entirely out of our control have put us here,” Dr. Arlotto said. “We are determined to do everything we can to pay tribute to our amazing seniors in the best possible way we can given the circumstances.”
Dr. Arlotto said a decision on transforming graduation ceremonies to a virtual venue will be made in the near future.
Howard County Public Schools are also said plans are underway for virtual graduation ceremonies to allow all seniors to participate in this wonderful tradition.
Online ceremonies will be held between Monday, June 1 and Tuesday, June 9, with specific dates and other details to be provided as soon as plans are finalized.
Each high school, as well as Cedar Lane School and the Homewood Center, will hold a virtual senior awards ceremony to highlight the many accomplishments of its Class of 2020 and announce the recipients of school and community awards and scholarships.
Additionally, every school will host an in-person celebration, to be scheduled at a later date, to give seniors the opportunity to come together with their classmates.
Yard signs honoring seniors have been ordered by all of the schools and will soon be displayed across Howard County.