Class of 2020
60th Commencement Exercises
Bishop O'Connell High School
May 28, 2020 at 12 p.m.
Find the complete ceremony, along with individual student clips at the link below:
More Class of 2020 Information
Graduation and end-of-the-year event information for our Class of 2020 is posted here. Please check back here regularly as we will be updating with new information as needed.
WE LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU!
Questions? Please contact Mr. Buckreis at email@example.com.
- June 19, 2020 - Diploma Distribution Update and Spiritual Opportunities
- May 7, 2020 Email - Updated Senior Information
- Is a 150-character message and a 10-second video not enough?
- Virtual Graduation Information - RESPONSE REQUIRED
- April 23, 2020 - Did You Get Yesterday's Grad Email (Mr. Buckreis)
- March 24, 2020 - A Note to the Class of 2020 (Mr. Patton)
Dear Graduates and Parents/Guardians,
We have a few timely items to share with you:
1) Diploma Distribution in Progress - Many graduates were able to pick up their diplomas during locker cleanout. For those who opted to have their diplomas delivered by the administration, please be on the lookout for an email with delivery details--including the date and time window of the delivery. If for some reason, a delivery is not able to be arranged, diplomas can be picked up at school on Monday, July 6 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Underwood Street lobby entrance (#9). If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2) Upcoming Association of St. John Bosco College Night - These events are a time for rising college freshman to fortify their Catholic faith before stepping foot on a college campus. It is a fantastic opportunity to meet other brothers and sisters in Christ who are heading off to your same university. Come listen to college students speak about their personal experiences on campus and ask any questions you may have before leaving for school. College Night dates and locations are as follows:
Find out more and register at www.asjb.org/student-
3) Living the Fourth - A Young Adult/Kairos Alumni Retreat, June 26-28 hosted by Loyola on the Potomac - Renew your enthusiasm and relationship with God! This event is geared toward men and women 18-30 who have experienced a Kairos Retreat while in high school or college. Find out more HERE.
It was awesome seeing almost all of you last week during our Senior Packet Pick-Up. Thanks so much for helping us get all these items in your hands in a safe and a happy way!
Virtual Graduation Participation – Tomorrow is the deadline for providing your personal 150-character quote/reflection/scripture for your graduation slide, and for submission of your 10-second video. If you need more information on either of these, go to our Class of 2020 webpage, where you can read more or watch video examples from me. Please, if you have any questions or issues regarding this, contact me at email@example.com as soon as possible.
Scholarship Listing in Grad Program - The absolute deadline for submitting college scholarship information to be printed in the Class of 2020 graduation program is this Tuesday, May 12. All scholarships (whether you end up using them or not) are recorded, and printed as a part of the formal graduation program. Please don't be left off this list! Send your information now to Mrs. Coon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
End of the Academic Year - Friday, May 8 is the last day of distance learning for seniors.
Farewell Meetings for all senior classes are scheduled for Monday, May 11 and Tuesday, May 12. Classes will meet during the assigned periods on the schedule below. Teachers will send information to students in each class period for Zoom meeting access. Seniors and classmates are strongly encouraged to take this opportunity to join with their class one final time. While this cannot replace the last days on campus, it is a chance to join in community to pray together and celebrate a year of hard work, accomplishment, and friendship! Some students may have a conflict with AP Exams. Students with a conflict should let teachers know directly.
Monday, May 11 - Farewell Class Meetings for senior classes
Period 1: 10:00 - 10:20 a.m.
Period 3: 10:30 - 10:50 a.m.
Period 5: 11:00 - 11:20 a.m.
Period 7: 11:30 - 11:50 a.m.
Tuesday, May 12 - Farewell Class Meetings for senior classes
Period 2: 10:00 - 10:20 a.m.
Period 4: 10:30 - 10:50 a.m.
Period 6: 11:00 - 11:20 a.m.
A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM SISTER CATHERINE
Seniors, first thank you for the cooperation and leadership so many of you have shown in this time of distance learning. Through the creativity and preparation of your teachers and the hours of work you offered in response, you will be able to graduate from O'Connell with robust transcripts and solid GPAs which give accurate reflection of your achievement over the four years of high school.
Formal distance learning instruction time ends this week. We have adopted a model often used for summer classes in colleges and universities; you have an extra week to submit work to be counted in your grade. Why? So that someone's B+ can become an A-, or a D caused by a missing assignment can change to a B once the work comes in. Through May 18, the day marked as grades closing for seniors, late work can be accepted without penalty. I encourage you to make that extra effort, take advantage of this rare opportunity and earn the highest GPA and the strongest transcript you can—it will serve you well in the months and years ahead. Don't forget that some items like service projects, research papers, and a passing grade in every subject are diploma requirements.
We are proud of what you have accomplished. Finish strong, you owe it to yourself and to your classmates. May God bless you as we enter into this final academic phase of your high school career. Be sure to contact your teachers, your counselor. or me (Sister Catherine) if you have any concerns or questions.
We get it...and we are creating a separate space for those of you who want to write more than 150 characters...even a lot more! If you want a longer video to be shared with your classmates, we have a place for you to submit that, too. So once you’ve completed your Virtual Graduation submission, feel free to submit your larger entry through our Class of 2020 Google Form using the link below. We will work with all of you to compile this and to share it out with all of you. [Please remember, of course, that all submissions must comply with O’Connell standards.]
We are working with our long-time graduation partner, Herff Jones, who has been offering colleges and universities virtual graduation options for years. This virtual ceremony will give all the seniors and their families a record of the event and something they will be able to share with others.
The program(s) that Herff Jones uses to collect all our graduates’ information and create our “virtual graduation ceremony” are: Marching Orders and Stage Clips. Every senior was sent an email on Wednesday, April 22 with instructions for submitting their personal grad information, messages, etc.
We will use everyone’s senior yearbook photo as a part of this event. (If you didn’t have a senior portrait taken, we will work with you to come up with a suitable alternative.)
IMPORTANT DUE DATES
- Due Friday, May 8 - To go along with your photo, we are asking you to submit a 150-character message...a response to one of the following prompts:
- For what are you most grateful?
- What do these past four years mean to you?
- What is a favorite quote or scripture that inspires you?
- Due Monday, April 27 - The announcer needs to know exactly how to pronounce your name, so please follow the instructions for this.
- Due Monday, May 8 - In addition, every graduate can include a short video clip, which will be included in your personal package (the graduation video plus your written message and individual video) which you can share with friends and family. We are hoping that you will receive all your graduation regalia (caps, gowns, stoles, tassels and honor cords) soon, so that you can wear these for your video. Please be sure to take extra care of these items, so that you can wear them again if an opportunity for a graduation event presents itself later this summer.
On behalf of all your teachers, counselors, and the O'Connell administration we congratulate you on your many accomplishments that have led to your graduation day. We appreciate your participation in this virtual graduation which will allow the entire class to graduate on your planned commencement date.
If you have any questions, contact Mr. Buckreis at email@example.com.
Dear Seniors and Parents/Guardians,
Yesterday all seniors should have received an email in their Bishop O'Connell email inbox with details about our "Virtual Graduation."
Seniors, please double check your school email inbox to make sure you got it. If not, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) as soon as possible, as we are working under tight deadlines.
The first deadline is Monday, April 27 - We need to know exactly how your full name is pronounced.
The second deadline is Friday, May 8 - That is when we need to have your 150-character message and your short video submitted. We are hoping that your caps and gowns arrive here at school in the next week, so that you can be completely dressed for graduation in your video clip. As a reminder...please take special care of these items, so that if we are able to have an in-person ceremony later in the summer, you will still look sharp!
Remember, this "Virtual Graduation" video will be put together as a keepsake for you and your family and friends to enjoy, and will include the music and speeches that are hallmark O'Connell graduation traditions. Each senior will get access to the video of the entire ceremony, along with a personal packet that contains your grad slide and video to be shared as you like.
Still Hoping For Another Opportunity to Celebrate
ALL OF THE PLANS are made with the understanding that we will gather together to have a ceremony appropriate to the conditions so the Class of 2020 can be together. No one has any idea right now of when that could be.
Our worry is that if we say that we will do nothing until we can all gather in-person, then what if we can't gather a few thousand people (if you take into account graduates, faculty, your families and friends) until next school year sometime? By that time, many grads will have "moved on" and the ceremony would be incomplete. You might think, well, maybe colleges will not begin in time next year, so we will all still be around. If that is the case, the same reason colleges would not be starting would be the reason we could not gather either.
Our virtual graduation is one way of ensuring that you have a shared experience as the Class of 2020, and it hopefully won't be the only way.
If we can hold a graduation (even at O'Connell) during the summer, we will do that...in cap and gown and much pomp and circumstance. I would love to be able to promise you a date, time and place for that, but at this time I can't. Unfortunately, so many things are out of our control. At this time, we can't gather in groups in Virginia. The Shrine of the Immaculate Conception will not accept any dates for us to use for a postponed graduation. They are basically closed, and so is every other venue.
Believe me, we continue to follow all the local and state information to see what is in the realm of possibilities, and we will not stop. Our Class of 2020 is important to us, and we have missed having all of you on campus this past month.
So, back to YOUR participation in our Bishop O'Connell Class of 2020 - Please don't delay in logging in and completing at least the pronunciation section this week. Start thinking about your 150-character message which will be displayed next to your photo and name during the ceremony. Finally, let's hope that your caps and gowns arrive soon, so you can complete your short video.
Is a 150-character message and a 10-second video not enough for you?
We understand. For the purpose of this graduation reel, this is the limit that needed to be set to allow everyone to participate fully. However, we are creating a separate space for those of you who want to write more than 150 characters...even a lot more! If you want a longer video to be shared with your classmates, we have a place for you to submit that, too. So once you've completed your Virtual Graduation submission, feel free to submit your larger entry through our Class of 2020 Google Form.We will work with all of you to compile this and to share it out with all of you. [Please remember, of course, that all submissions must comply with O'Connell standards.]
More Senior Information
We are assembling Senior Packets that will include:
- Your cap, gown, tassel and stole (Don't lose the tassel, you're going to need that later)
- "Bishop O'Connell Graduate" yard signs, for everyone
- Class of 2020 Senior t-shirt, designed by your SCA officers, for everyone
- Baccalaureate Mass programs
- National Honor Society stoles and patches for members
- Honor society cords for honor society members
- Superdance t-shirt for all those who did not pick one up yet
We hope to have these ready for you soon, and we will establish a safe and efficient process for pick-up. We are still waiting on a few of the items to be delivered.
Class of 2020 Web Page
We are also creating a Class of 2020 graduation hub, a page with graduation information, links and more. Check back regularly as it will be updated when we get new information. You can find this at:
Don't forget to keep checking your O'Connell email for upcoming events and more, as conditions change in our area.
Please contact me if you have any other questions right now.
Dear Members of the Class of 2020,
As you are now aware, Governor Northam announced yesterday that all schools in Virginia would remain closed for the rest of the school year; it was such disappointing news. As I listened to the announcement, my thoughts turned immediately to you, the senior class. It is a heartbreaking way to conclude the year, which has been a difficult year for your class on so many fronts, including the loss of one of our beloved teachers, Frau Stabile, in December; the inconveniences brought about by the construction and building issues; the cancellation of Superdance, spring athletics seasons and many fine arts activities; and now the new reality that prevents your class from completing the school year physically together. Your class has gone through all of this, along with the normal stresses of a senior year, with grace and leadership that is admirable. I want you to know that we as a school understand that this decision brings with it a tremendous amount of anxiety and disappointment for you.
Our hope is that we do not have to cancel the end-of-year events that are highlights of your senior year. In fact, we are actively seeking ways to have Baccalaureate, graduation, prom and even senior shirt signature day. How this happens is dependent on many factors, but we are not ruling anything out, including possible postponements or changes to how these events looked in the past. Over the next few weeks, Mr. Buckreis, Mr. Britt and others will be in conversations with student leadership to stay connected on the issues of most importance to all of you.
I want to thank the whole class for your resiliency and your patience during these challenging times. I want to also point out that the character that you have shown in responding to these challenges, bodes well for you as you tackle the challenges that you are sure to face in future years. So be assured of our prayers and our efforts to find ways to make these important events happen. I also ask for your prayers for those directly affected by the virus and the quarantine, for all those who care for them, and for our school community.
I have great confidence in you as a class and ask that you finish this academic year, under the distance learning models that your teachers have created for you, with the same resilience that you have demonstrated throughout this challenging school year.
Mr. Carl Patton
How to Properly Wear Your Cap and Gown
10-Second Grad Video Ideas
Mr. Roque's College Sweatshirt Video
April 28, 2020