DCPS makes changes to senior clearance amid pandemic

Winston Botts and Anna Dueholm

The DCPS Coronavirus Response Team and Wilson’s administrative team released information clarifying changes to senior clearance policies for the class of 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic on May 27th. The Wilson “Class of 2020 Update” sent in an email to Wilson’s graduating class contained information for students about end-of-year proceedings, including guidance on returning textbooks that was previously unavailable.

Senior clearance will take place on the Wilson field, and students will come in small groups from June 9-12. “Students must return all text and library books during clearance. If you have lost any books, you will have to pay online and show your email receipt,” the update document noted. Since the city’s stay at home order was extended from April 24 to May 29, Wilson students were just recently made aware of the accommodation.

DC Public Schools had limited information accessible through their publicly available resources about how school resource returns would be handled by schools as a whole. To get information about district-wide updates students and parents must contact a DCPS response team dedicated to coronavirus updates directly via phone call or email. “You should be able to return your textbooks during the pre-graduation materials window pickup (June 9- June 15),” a member of the DCPS COVID-19 Response Team said.

Part of the senior clearance process is recording future plans for each graduating student. The College and Career Center is working to conduct this process virtually. “Seniors will receive a google form about post-secondary plans on Thursday, May 28,” according to the document emailed on the 27th of May. 

Senior dues have also been reduced to 40 dollars. Students that haven’t paid can pay online, and partial refund forms will be made available next week for any students that have already paid the original amount.   

The Wilson update had more guidelines for how seniors should go about returning their uniforms for JROTC or sports teams. All seniors must either return or pay for their uniforms before the deadline to be eligible to graduate. JROTC students are directed to contact Lieutenant O’Connor or Sergeant Davis for more information about returning JROTC uniforms. 

After returning all school materials, handling dues, and signing official transcripts, seniors will be able to receive diploma covers. All seniors who purchased a cap and gown online will be able to pick them up at that time as well. Additionally, school staff will clear out senior lockers and all items will be bagged and available for seniors at their clearance appointment. 

Specific procedures for underclassmen returning textbooks and cleaning out lockers has yet to be released but is expected to be in the coming weeks.