ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — Anne Arundel County Public Schools announced Thursday they will transition from traditional graduation exercises for high school seniors, to a four-tiered celebration for the class of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Superintendent Dr. George Arlotto wrote a letter to seniors and their families. He said, in part:

“As the father of a high school senior myself, I am fully aware of – and have greatly struggled with – the impact that decisions regarding events such as prom and graduation have on students and their families.

That is why I waited as long as possible before canceling proms late last month. That is also why we have delayed a decision on our graduation ceremonies, hoping against hope that we could hold them as planned at our schools or at the Live! Event Center at Arundel Mills. Our primary focus has been – and will continue to be – on health and safety.”

While the current circumstances “mean that we simply cannot proceed with graduations as we had planned, I refuse to let the circumstances eradicate our ability to celebrate our awesome seniors.”


Anne Arundel County Public Schools will honor the class of 2020 in four ways:

  1. Senior Salute: Audio tributes about seniors by those who know them best – their teachers and counselors.
  2. Senior Awards: Each school will be creating an online senior awards event to honor members of the Class of 2020.
  3. Digital Commencement Celebration: These recorded events will follow the format of traditional graduations and will be broadcast on AACPS-TV and on AACPS’ YouTube and Livestream channels.
  4. Cap and Gown Gala: Tentative events for all high schools in late July in which students can gather together (with appropriate social distancing), put on their caps and gowns, have their names announced, process across the stage and have their photo taken as they would at a normal graduation ceremony.

For you can find a full list of details by clicking right here.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.


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