At this time last year, Belmont Hill students were completing their final exams and getting ready to gather one last time as a community on the Chapel Lawn for the school’s traditional end-of-the-year celebrations. This year, amid a global pandemic, students have had their final exams canceled due to a shift to online learning and, on March 5, unbeknownst to them, gathered as a community for the last time for the Winter Sports Awards Chapel in the Fritz Gym. Although it is disappointing that we will not be able to return to campus to celebrate the completion of the school year, it is necessary to hold these events virtually in order to combat the spread of coronavirus, which has now infected over 90,000 people in Massachusetts. Instead of its usual venue of the Chapel Lawn, Prize Day will now take place on a Youtube live stream in which Mr. Bradley, Mr. Schneider, and Ms. Hamilton will announce the winners of first to fifth form prizes from a newly renovated, but still unused Chapel. Form-wide Zoom meetings from 9 to 10 am on the same day have replaced the individual form processions to the ceremony. The biggest impact of the shift to online celebrations has been for the seniors. For the Class of 2020, there will be a Senior Celebration on May 29 at 4:30 pm in the form of a YouTube live stream, and sixth formers will be awarded prizes then. The next day, the seniors will have a “Commencement Cruise,” in which they will drive through the Belmont Hill parking lot to pick up their diplomas, awards, and gifts. The school also has a plan in place for the completion of senior panels in which students can either have Mr. Kaplan and Mr. Simpson finish their panels for them or can come into the woodshop in the future and work on them. These events, even if virtual, will be important in maintaining a sense of community for the school while we are isolated from each other and remain uncertain about the future of school life.
Belmont Hill Celebrates the End of the School Year Virtually
by Sreetej Digumarthion May 29, 2020