VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Virginia students won’t see the inside of a classroom until September at the earliest, after Governor Ralph Northam closed school for the rest of the year.
It’s uncharted territory that Hampton Roads school divisions are trying to map out. But high school seniors and their parents want the proper send-off.
“I picked a prom dress back in February,” said Bayside High School senior Grace Galvez.
“I just wanted everyone to see me walk across the stage knowing that I did it,” said Bayside senior Mayson Littles.
Proms, graduations, and big games are up in the air after the closure.
“I’ve been looking forward for our senior night, going into the stadium,” said Cox High School lacrosse player Weston Green.
The seniors said the thought of ending the year this way is heartbreaking.
“We really were just shocked kind of because we had done all this work, made all this effort,” Galvez said.
The closure leaves many questions for their parents too.
“I do worry about what is going to happen with grades, his GPA,” said parent Mariaelissa Borden. “He is supposed to be going to ODU in the fall.”
Hampton Roads School Divisions are trying to find the answers.
“We will explore all avenues and opportunities to make sure students can have at least some of the normal experiences,” said Virginia Beach Superintendent Dr. Aaron Spence.
Spence said they are waiting on guidelines from the state to figure out at-home learning, grades, credits and more.
“We are going to continue trying to make sure the school year ends as normally as possible under these circumstances,” Spence said.
Virginia Beach and other school divisions haven’t called off graduation or prom, yet. Norfolk Superintendent Dr. Sharon Byrdsong said they pledge to keep everyone informed.
“I would love to see my son walk across the graduation stage, so it would be really nice if they postponed it,” said parent Jennifer Green.
Seniors hope they get the chance to have those memorable moments.
“You only get senior year one time,” Littles said. “It’s not like I can do it over again.”
School divisions know there are a lot of questions. As they wait for guidance from the state many like Norfolk and Virginia Beach have counselors working virtually from home. They encourage any families with questions to reach out.