Finding out she would spend the last three months of high school at home dealt Mia Harton a blow.
“The most challenging part was realizing senior year is kind of over,” Harton said, “and so is your high school career.”
South Burlington High School closed its doors March 18 along with all other Vermont schools to mitigate the transmission of the novel coronavirus. Harton held out hope schools would reopen, but it was announced March 26 the remaining school year would be completed remotely.
Harton credits her teachers for making the transition to remote learning easy, but the question remained: In which senior activities would she be able to participate and which would she miss?
She missed prom and a day when seniors wear a shirt depicting where they’re going next, be it college, the military or otherwise. It was a day to celebrate everyone’s accomplishments together.
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Graduation will go forward on June 12, but it will be drive-in style — family attendance limited by the number of seats in the vehicle.
Though not what she expected, the unconventional ceremony gives her and the class of 2020 a unique experience to tell: “We’re the class that had graduation in our cars — something to brag about.”
She is hoping a barbecue banquet with senior superlatives will occur later in the summer.
Through it all, she appreciated how communicative school faculty have been. “I’ve really felt supported by the school through this whole thing, which is awesome.” She even had a senior picture lawn sign delivered to her home by her assistant principal.
For now she is focusing on plans for the fall, gathering supplies for her dorm room. She will be moving to Philadelphia to attend Temple University to study actuarial science.
She expects college graduation to be even more special.
“I definitely will miss all those events, but I think 10 years from now looking back, it won’t be as big of a deal to me as it is right now.”
More personal stories: How Vermonters are facing life in the coronavirus era
Learning from home: Attendance isn’t perfect, but better than expected during remote learning
Contact April Barton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-660-1854. Follow her on Twitter @aprildbarton.
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