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'What happens to graduation:' Seniors, families, concerned about the Class of 2020

Parents are trying to help their seniors cope through the stress and challenges of not being able to be in school and not having graduation to look forward to

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Senior year is supposed to be a memorable one however for the class of 2020, it's certainly memorable but not in a good way.

Many are looking for answers to questions about college prep exams, college applications, interviews, and even certification exams but most especially 'What happens to graduation?'

"My main thing right now is about graduation, will there still be one and does it have to be a virtual thing," asked Alexis Neal rhetorically.

Neal is a 12th grader at the Middle College at UNCG, one of the schools under the Guilford County School system. 

Like her, much of the Class of 2020, seniors in college and high school alike have pondered over several similar questions about their final year. 

"What about the many of us we're having our graduation cookout, what about that, if we can't have a gathering," said Neal.

Parents are trying to help their seniors cope through the stress and challenges of not being able to be in school with their friends and not having graduation to look forward to. Moms like Shakirra Staton who is a nurse said she is not only worried about her own safety at work, she is also worried about her son. 

"His whole career depends on being able to take the SAT, being able to get the ACT and we have no confirmation of when those things will be open or available," added Staton.

Staton said when she returns home she has to review her son's homeschool work and also keep his spirits high as he is not used to online learning. She now plans to take his graduation pictures herself and provide other memorable activities to mark the year at home.

"I don't want him to lose out on those memories that he'll never be able to replace again, but as a parent of a senior, it's hard because you don't know when the end is going to be," said Staton.

As families try to make do, they agree the sacrifices had to be made.

"It's better to be safe than sorry so it was a pretty good call that the governor did. I'm not mad about it, it's a relief because no one wants to get sick," concluded Neal.

North Carolina schools have switched to a pass/fail grading system for high school seniors and some school districts have said if students can't have a graduation ceremony this summer, they look to December. Also, some universities including the University of North Carolina system have relaxed some of their admissions requirements to take into account high school students whose academic careers were affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

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