From Mrs. Landry on May 11, 2020
Good afternoon Seniors and families,
This morning brought not only the start of AP examinations but also news from HISD regarding celebrating the Class of 2020. I know this is a lot of information to absorb so please take a few minutes to read this email in its entirety- it includes a message from Dr. Allen as well as a few items which require your attention.
A message from Dr. Allen:
By now you have probably received the news from HISD that we will not be able to hold face to face graduations for Class of 2020. It saddens me that this is the decision made by the district because of the continued social distancing issues. While my heart breaks for you, I am hopeful that a grand finale performance event might take place in August or worst-case scenario, December when you are home from college. A virtual graduation will be put together to honor you and will be available to steam for a year beginning June 14th at 1:00 pm. I will communicate more details about this event in the coming days.
What follows is quite a bit of information as we begin closing this school year, which has certainly been full of surprises and disappointments. I want to again thank you for your patience as we have traveled this journey together.
The last day of “official” classes for you will be Thursday, May 21st. Please remember that AP Statistics and Spanish students have their AP Exams at the scheduled times on Friday, May 22nd.
A few guidelines for the events discussed in this email:
- All employees must always wear PPE equipment.
- All individuals must maintain 6 feet apart distancing.
- No physical contact to be allowed (hugging, handshakes, etc.).
- Students are required to wear masks. These will be provided at the school if you do not have one.
- Students are to park in the campus garage or enter the main doors at 790 Austin Street.
- Students will be expected to use the elevator in the garage and will be limited to 2 people in the car at a time.
- You will be given a list of things to accomplish while on campus and will receive stamps to verify they have turned certain items in. We will send this list home before the 21st in order for you to be sure you have what is needed before arriving at HSPVA.
On May 22nd we will have all seniors on campus for cap and gown pickup, technology drop off, and locker clean out. In order to keep building capacity at 25% or below and to help with social distancing, we will have you come by art area. Please note there is an end of day makeup time in case a student is taking an AP exam or has another reason the scheduled time will not work. We will also offer a bus drive drop off/pickup if a senior chooses not to enter the building.
If you need assistance gathering items from the locker or art area, you may bring one parent to help.
The schedule for art areas will (Tentatively) be:
8:00 am Visual Arts
9:00 am Creative Writing
9:30 am Dance
10:00 am Band/Jazz/Piano
10:45 am Mariachi/Orchestra
11:30 am Theatre
12:15 pm LUNCH BREAK
1:00 pm Vocal
1:30 pm Makeup Time for students not attending an above session
2:30 pm Seniors taking AP Stats Exam
3:15 pm Campus Closed
We will have a small number of staff throughout the building to assist in upholding social distancing guidelines.
As I said, if you do not want to enter the building, we can arrange for the technology to be dropped off and the cap and gown delivered in the front bus drive. If this is the route you would like to take, please e-mail Mr. Tellez (email@example.com) and we will follow up with a time and details.
You may have seen in the news or on social media that the city of Houston is holding a Class of 2020 recognition on June 5th. It will either be at 6:30 pm or 7:00 pm and we are working on details to make that evening special for you. This is not a graduation, but rather a time to have the Class of 2020 together and celebrate you. Seniors will wear their caps and gowns and the city’s part of the evening will be broadcast on local stations for people to tune in and watch. While HISD has said that parents will not be attending, I have some ideas to bring families in and be a part of the fun without actually being with the kids. Please stay tuned for those details. Our preliminary plan is to have the regular HSPVA graduation photographer on campus on June 5th to take individual cap and gown photos, this will give you a chance to purchase senior photos and gives us great pictures to use for the virtual graduation ceremony.
Again, staff will be in attendance to help monitoring social distancing.
A few other notes:
- Balfour publishes our yearbook and everything was submitted for this year’s edition before COVID-19 shut things down. They have just reopened and are working on yearbooks for high schools throughout the country. We know that they will not arrive before the middle of June, but they will arrive. We will have a plan for distributing those to students once they get to campus.
- We usually have packets for seniors to pick up that have their diplomas and other important documents after the graduation ceremony. We are working on a plan to get diplomas to the students once we received them from Herff Jones.
- We are still working with HISD legal to get contracts for graduation and prom sorted out in order to issue refunds to seniors. I hope to have more information about that soon.
I understand that all of this is not what we planned for our Class of 2020. Please know that we will work to make everything as special and memorable as possible for you.
If you have questions, please let me know. I would ask that you understand that much of this is based on decisions of Houston ISD and are non-negotiable as they pertain to all high schools in the district.
As always, thank you for your understanding. My apologies for not being able to share this information in person.
Continue to take care of yourselves.
PLEASE NOTE THAT DETAILS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE
PLEASE COMPLETE ASAP
- Mrs. Farris has emailed you guys individually (twice) asking for your final choice of college. This information is needed for the graduation program AND will be considered a request to send your final transcript. If you haven’t answered her, please do so asap. If for some reason you haven’t heard from her, please email her at Christina.Farris@houstonisd.org and give her the name of your final choice college.
- Last call for scholarships is this Wednesday. Please email the letters and scholarships to Mr. Edwards (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Final transcripts will be available sometime after the semester ends, and as soon as they are, we will send your final transcript to the institution you’ve identified for Mrs. Farris.
We can still support each other on this new online format! Please check out the new page on the PVA website linking to all of the online art events https://www.houstonisd.org/Page/181730. You can also continue to find them on our social media links for Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
As Dr. Allen said, this is absolutely not what we planned for our Class of 2020.
Echoing what I shared with my classes after Spring Break, now might be the perfect time for a few nuggets of advice that are memorable and impactful and encapsulates the current situation. Embrace whatever it is you are feeling. Rage, curse, cry- you are entitled. But once you have processed it remember we still have a little way to go before we finish this crazy year. So let’s finish strong.
Keep breathing kiddos- we will get through this together! In the meanwhile, I encourage you to brew a cup of tea and sit outside in the sunshine - preferably still in your pajamas - as we focus our energies on what we can change and celebrate one another while still being more than 6 feet apart.