Shawsheen Tech Principal Outlines Some Of The School’s Plans To Honor Its Seniors

Below is a letter from Shawsheen Tech Principal Jessica Cook sent to seniors on Monday, providing updates on senior activities in light of COVID-19.

Dear Shawsheen Seniors,

I am writing today to share some plans we have been working on to celebrate the class of 2020. School may be closed for the remainder of this school year but I assure you that everyone at Shawsheen is committed to recognizing and celebrating all of you, to the extent we can safely do so, despite that. I know nothing will completely erase the disappointment you are experiencing with your senior year of high school ending much differently than you envisioned, but I hope that doesn’t hinder you from experiencing the feelings of joy, accomplishment, and pride you have earned the right to feel. You have transformed so much during your time at Shawsheen and I urge you not to lose sight of that. I hope the alternative approaches we are taking to recognize you will allow you to experience those feelings, and want you to know how sincerely proud I am of each of you.

Below, I have outlined information on our plans for the next month or so. I am thankful to the many people who have come together to make the following possible, but I want to send a special thank you to your senior class advisors Ms. Caira and Ms. Robinson. They have been advocating for the senior class non-stop, have been at the forefront of putting out alternative ideas to celebrate you during the school closure, and are fully invested in everything we are doing to support the senior class during this time. I am grateful to them for their dedication to all of you.

Highlighting Seniors on Social Media: We kicked off our celebration of seniors today with a social media post highlighting the seniors in Autobody. We will celebrate all shops (in alphabetical order) over the next month with a new post each day until all seniors in all shops have been posted. These images will also be added to our website. These posts are available on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. We hope you check them out!

Door Banners: The class advisors are having banners printed for seniors to hang on their front doors. Banners will be individualized to feature each student. We can’t wait to see photos of them on your front doors once they are completed!

‘Decorate Your Cap’ Challenge: We will be challenging seniors to decorate their graduation caps and submit images for a competition! There will be prizes for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place caps. We will be putting out a video later this week with rules and information about the contest. Students will be able to pick up their caps and gowns next week (explained below) and photos of your decorated caps will be due by 11:59pm on Thursday, May 28.

Cap & Gown Pick-up: Seniors will be able to pick up their caps & gowns in the rear parking lot at Shawsheen on Wednesday, May 13 (weather permitting), in accordance with the rules outlined below to ensure safety and proper social distancing for everyone involved:

  • Students must enter during the appropriate time frame, based on the first letter of their last name:
    • 11:00am – 11:30am = A-C
    • 11:30am – 12:00pm = D-F
    • 12:00pm – 12:30pm = G-L
    • 12:30pm – 1:00pm = M-O
    • 1:00pm – 1:30pm = P-S
    • 1:30pm – 2:00pm = T-Z
  • Students must come in separate vehicles in order to adhere to rules for social distancing — vehicles with multiple students will not be allowed to enter
  • Students must enter and exit the parking lot through the rear entrance on Cook Street next to the Automotive and Metal Fab shops
  • Students must remain in their cars at all times – we will pass caps and gowns through car windows

If you are experiencing a hardship that does not allow you to pick up your cap and gown under these conditions, please email me at jcook@shawtech.org.

We cannot wait to get you your caps and gowns and see your entries for the Decorate Your Cap Challenge!

Class of 2020 T-shirt design challenge: The class advisors challenge the seniors to create a Class of 2020 shirt design! This challenge is open to everyone in the class and submissions are due by May 12. The winning design will go on the class t-shirt and prizes will be awarded to the top 3 entries. Stay tuned for an email from your class advisors for more details about how to submit your entry.

Prom: The prom as we originally planned it, scheduled on May 28th, will be cancelled. That being said, the class advisors are working diligently with administration and the Alumni Association to try and put together some safe alternatives to make up for this. Stay tuned for details. Regardless of what we end up planning as an alternative, we will be reaching out later this month for students to submit photos of themselves in their prom attire so that we can include those photos in the yearbook.

Graduation: We will be making decisions about graduation soon, but want to get feedback directly from seniors before we do. I will be meeting remotely with a group of approximately 30 seniors later this week to get some input from them regarding alternatives for graduation. I will use their feedback to put together a survey that will go out to all seniors by the end of this week. We will use that information to make a final decision about graduation. I look forward to receiving your input.

All Night Grad Party: Unfortunately, the All Night Grad Party, hosted annually by the PAC, will also not be an option for this year. The PAC is working with the class advisors and administration to identify other ways they can celebrate seniors in lieu of the All Night Grad Party. The PAC will still be giving out t-shirts to the seniors and will be in touch regarding their alternative plans for the class of 2020.

Yearbook: There will still be a yearbook for seniors! As is the case every year, a supplement will be available to students by early June and the full yearbook will be available this fall. The district will be eliminating yearbook fees for seniors so you will each receive a yearbook for free. Stay tuned as we work to make some of the yearbook content digital so that you can view it sooner. Thank you to Mr. Azevedo, Mr. Hirsch, and the students in the Yearbook Club for all the effort you are putting in to make this possible.

Awards Video: We will not be able to run Scholarship Night, Class Day/Vocational Awards, or any other awards ceremony in person as we normally would. In lieu of that we will be releasing an awards video at the end of the month, highlighting all of the seniors and their achievements for everyone to view.

Pizza Pizza: In lieu of a pizza party for the seniors, please check your email for a message from your class advisors detailing what they have put together for you instead.

More to Come: We have brainstormed other small ways to recognize and celebrate our seniors as you will see over the coming month.

Retrieving items from school: We know many of you are curious about the plan for retrieving your materials from school and how you can return the books and equipment that belongs to the school. We plan to schedule appointments for seniors to come to the school for this purpose over the weeks of May 26-29 and June 1-5. We will send out more details as we get closer to those dates.

T-Shirt Sizes: Please fill out this brief form to ensure we have an accurate t-shirt size for you: T-Shirt Size Form — you will need to log into your school Microsoft Office 365 account, after you click on the link, to complete the form.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. We look forward to celebrating you over the next month! Go Rams!

Best,

Jessica Cook

Principal

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