Town Council Resolution: Block Island School Class of 2020

Fri, 06/12/2020 - 10:45am

Whereas, on January 30, 2020, the World Heath Organization designated the coronavirus, COVID-19, outbreak as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, and on March 11, 2020 declared the outbreak to be a Pandemic, there followed increasingly stringent Advisories and Executive Orders restricting travel and commerce, government and education, altering life as we had known it, and

Whereas, the students and faculty of the Block Island School, with their colleagues and classmates across the nation, were thrown into the very deep end of the distance learning pool, all the while surrounded by the uncertainty of the impact of the pandemic on the community and family members near and far, and

Whereas, the high school seniors suddenly found the final trips to possible college destinations cancelled, and all the school classes shifted in a single week from on-site to distanced, and, as time went on, the seniors, in particular, felt the diminished possibilities of having the expectations of every senior class realized, and

Whereas, the seniors adapted to the loss of the rituals, academic, extra-curricular, etc, that many had watched from the time they were kindergartners in this small island school, imagining themselves as the “big kids” one day, presenting senior projects, participating in academic and sports competitions, attending parties and celebrations, finally marching across a sunny lawn, hearing the words that have been sung to every senior class as long as graduates remember, and tossing their hats into the bright June sky as their families and friends jostled, attempting to capture in a photo the magic of the moment they would always hold in their hearts, and

Whereas, this graduation, like much of the senior year, is not what our seniors always presumed it would be, and while they have missed the expected, they have triumphed over obstacles no one of us ever imagined back in September, and as seniors, preparing to face the world, they have borne a greater burden, of having to meet these challenges wholly, with no opportunity for make-up time come next fall, and to set an example for all the classes which look up to them, and

Whereas, while there is much they have missed, they should never forget that there is so much they have accomplished, so many trails they have had no choice but to blaze, and they take with them the certainty no matter what comes, they will forever be the first graduating class of the Block Island School to have traveled this path, and

Therefore be it resolved, the Town of New Shoreham recognizes the extraordinary circumstances of this school year, and wishes the history making Class of 2020 the best of opportunity, health, and success in all of their future endeavors.