Bonitatibus confirms plans for in-person senior graduation ceremony


Illustration by Aafreen Ali

The Jefferson class of 2021 will have their graduation ceremony in person at Woodson High School.

Riya Jones, Staff Writer

Jefferson principal Dr. Ann Bonitatibus confirmed Jefferson will hold an in-person graduation ceremony, scheduled for June 5, 2021 at Woodson High School Stadium. The ceremony will be held outdoors so the entire senior class will be able to graduate at the same time.

“We wanted to keep our original graduation date because so many families already made arrangements and planned parties around that date,” Bonitatibus said. “We ended up getting assigned Woodson, because there were about four different locations that schools could be assigned.”

Although the date and location, as well as a rain date, have been confirmed, many logistical details about the graduation ceremony remain uncertain and will be determined as further guidelines are released.

“I don’t know if I’m going to be able to take the diploma and actually be able to hand it to the senior,” Bonitatibus said. “I might have to leave it on a table for each senior to pick up.”

I think it’s definitely nice that we’re doing an in person graduation so that we can end off our time at TJ with some sort of normalcy.

— senior Daniel Fu

Many students will be vaccinated by the time of graduation, but the ceremony will still look different from prior years due to social distancing concerns and safety precautions.

“We’re going to have to make sure that all of the chairs are spaced out on the field and people in the stands are going to have to be socially distanced,” Bonitatibus said. “The other change is that the number of guests that seniors have is not unlimited.”

While seniors do have a nine person limit on the number of family members and friends they can invite to the ceremony, the event will also be available through a livestream.

“Live streaming would definitely be a good idea so that family members that can’t make it, or don’t want to show up because they aren’t vaccinated or have underlying conditions, can still experience being there and watching as you accept your diploma,” senior Daniel Fu said.

The traditional graduation experience may be somewhat altered this year, but seniors are still excited to have the opportunity to attend an in-person ceremony.

“I think it’s definitely nice that we’re doing an in person graduation so that we can end off our time at TJ with some sort of normalcy,” Fu said.