Class of 2021 updates & graduation information — Exams, yearbooks, grad party & more

Image via Gifer

Image via Gifer

Helen Ehrlich, Editor-In-Chief

For the class of 2021, the school year is rapidly coming to a close. Senior gatherings, farewells and South Lakes traditions will all culminate on graduation day.


Elementary School Appreciation

It’s tradition for graduating seniors to walk through their FCPS elementary schools to see teachers and say their goodbyes. Due to COVID, the class of 2021 will not have that opportunity. Instead, seniors will go to their elementary school on Monday May 24 at 12:00 PM to film a farewell video.


Students will make a thank you video for their teachers and the school. It’s recommended that students wear South Lakes spirit wear or colors, or dress in their elementary school’s colors.


The following elementary schools will be hosting seniors: Dogwood Elementary, Floris Elementary, Forest Edge Elementary, Fox Mill Elementary, Hunters Woods Elementary, Lake Anne Elementary, Sunrise Valley Elementary and Terraset Elementary. Those who did not attend one of these elementary schools are still encouraged to join their friends at one of the filming sessions.

South Lakes Seniors Return to Elementary School Roots to Celebrate Graduation | Reston Now
The class of 2017 – Image via Reston Now


Graduation will be held at WT Woodson High School. Graduation will be on Friday, June 4 at 9:00 AM. Students should arrive at 7:45 A. the ceremony will last an hour and a half. 


Each student is allowed to have eight family members attend. The seats will be metal bleachers that do extend high up. Families will be blocked off and required to maintain a distance of six-feet from each other, per commonwealth regulations. Handicapped seating is available.  The ceremony will be livestreamed at:


Students are allowed to decorate their caps and gowns, but they may not use any three-dimensional decorations. Caps cannot violate school rules in terms of language and theme. Cords will be individually distributed by honor societies. Stoles will be provided by the school.


Students are not allowed to wear heels, but flat shoes and wedges are permitted. Woodson has made this a requirement due to concerns of puncturing or damaging the turf field.


Families and students will be able to park in the Whitacre Road student lot. If that lot is full, there is also parking in the City Gates Church. Frost Middle School will be in session so their lot should not be utilized. The school will have signs directing people towards the stadium, though “the parking lot is a further walk than at the EagleBank Arena, please keep that in mind and wear comfortable shoes.”


There is a rain date of June 7, also at 9 AM. If the school is forced to cancel the June 7 date, they have stated that they will announce a third plan. This plan will have to involve splitting up the graduation times into two groups.


Students not attending graduation should fill out this form:

Fall Graduations Were Cancelled, While College Football Continued : NPR
Image via NPR

Graduation Rehearsal 

There will be graduation rehearsals on June 2 and 3. Both will take place from 8:30 to 11:00 AM. “All seniors are expected to attend rehearsals,” and those not attending should inform their counselors. Students who miss both of these rehearsals will not be permitted to participate in the graduation ceremony.


The caps and gowns will be distributed during the June 2 graduation rehearsal and tickets will be distributed on June 3. These will only be available to students who have paid their senior dues and returned all laptops, textbooks and library materials (more information below). Those who did not fill out the form to request a gown size will have to select one provided by the gown company.


All Night Grad Party

The traditional All Night Grad Party (ANGP) on the night of graduation, is not possible due to COVID. Instead, there will be a carnival. Students can sign up for a 5-7 PM time slot or a 7:30-9:30 PM time slot, similar to prom.


When students purchase a $70 ticket, they get access to “unlimited photos and keychains,” carnival games, a caricature artist, henna and an airbrush artist. There will be a DJ and “adult trikes with a track.” The ANGP will serve “hamburgers, Chicken, Hot Dogs, Veggies burgers, sides, popcorn, and an ice cream station. Variety of soda, lemonade, iced tea, and water will also be served.”


Tickets can be purchased here:

Vintage Circus {Birthday Party} | Vintage circus birthday party, Vintage circus theme, 21st birthday games
Image via Garfield HS PTSA

Exam Week Schedule

Students are expected to attend all classes during the last week of school, until they take the final exam/have the final exam day for the class. Students are expected to stay in their classrooms during fifth period on Thursday, May 27. 


The school released the following schedule:

Google Drive Data Saving

G Suite accounts, Google accounts though Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), will be disabled by the County and become inaccessible for graduated students on August 6th, 2021.  To save your Google Drive content, log in to your account. Select all files by clicking Ctrl-A. Click the “more actions” menu (the three dots), then click “download.” Your computer will then automatically begin downloading a ZIP file of all of your content to your computer.


For more information on how to dave your G Suite files, visit this document from FCPS.


Laptop Returns

All seniors must return their laptops and textbooks before graduating. In-person students should go to the auxiliary gym (the room right next to the gym, across from the athletics hall of fame wall) after their second period exam. Virtual students can do curbside drop off at Door 1 or in the auxiliary gym on: Friday, May 28, 9:45 AM to 2:00 PM or Tuesday, June 1, 9:45  AM – 2:00 PM.


Senior Dues

The senior dues are $50 and should be paid on MySchoolBucks. FCPS has picked up the