June 14 – 17
“Pomp and Circumstance,” proud families, heartfelt speeches and awarding of diplomas — all in person. Students and families have dreamed of this moment, and in 2021 it’s going to happen! This June, the Class of 2021 at each HCPS high school will get its own in-person ceremony.
Your class gets the traditional ceremony you deserve
HCPS has 10 high schools and two Advanced Career Education Centers. This June, our longtime partner Richmond Raceway has agreed to provide use of its impressive facility for a week’s worth of traditional outdoor graduation ceremonies. (This is different than last year, when the Raceway generously served as the site of graduation “Victory Laps” for graduating seniors, who were driven around the track inside a vehicle.)
Under current state guidelines, most of our ceremonies need a large outdoor venue that can accommodate an entire school’s senior class in person at one time. Richmond Raceway has the capacity and expertise to deal with large crowds, parking and public safety issues, and most importantly, to help us comply faithfully with the conditions for in-person graduations laid out by Gov. Northam for Executive Order 72.
How graduation ceremonies at Richmond Raceway will work:
- Each student’s group of four will sit together as a pod in the raceway’s grandstands, separated from other groups by 6 feet. In order to make the viewing experience as special as possible, we are only using two grandstands that have a view of the graduation stage.
- As the ceremonies begin, graduates (in cap and gown) will emerge from the staging area beneath the grandstands and process — remaining 6 feet apart — in front of family and friends.
- Students descend to the track and cross to the seating area.
- Rows of student seats will be spaced on the grassy infield to accommodate physical distancing.
- Welcoming remarks, student speeches, songs and other attributes of a traditional graduation ceremony will be included. At the appropriate moment, students will ascend a stage, located between the grassy infield and “pit road,” to receive their diplomas.