The letter below from Principal Shull was emailed to the Class of 2021 Seniors and their families on Sunday, June 20. Please review it carefully as it contains updated plans for the Class of 2021 Graduation Ceremony based on recently revised guidance from the New York State Department of Health.
Dear Parents/Guardians and Students,
We are writing once again to inform you of changes to our plans for graduation. As you have probably heard, NYS has reached Governor Cuomo’s target of a 70% vaccination rate. As a result, most of the restrictions put in place across New York have been lifted; this includes many of the restrictions on us for our graduation ceremony. Some of the highlights of the new guidance are as follows:
- There is no limit on the size of social gatherings.
- School officials have no obligation to conduct health screenings or gather contact information for tracing.
- Social distancing and State protocols for cleaning and disinfection are now optional.
- Per NYS DOH regulations, masks are required for unvaccinated individuals when not seated
In light of this, we are able to make changes to our graduation ceremony. In working with our graduation committee we have decided to make changes that get us closer to a traditional graduation ceremony, but with a twist! We have kept some elements to help improve our guests’ experience. Our committee advocated increasing the number of guests at graduation, while also keeping the plan for a limited number of family members to move forward to better view their graduate while they receive their diploma. In order to achieve this more personal moment, we still need a more structured approach to graduation.
Please see the details of our revised plans below:
- Graduates will be seated together on the field near the end zone closest to the softball field as we have done in the past.
Family / Guests (on field):
- Guests will be seated in family groups on the field. You will be able to have up to eight (8) people in each grouping. Groups of chairs will be separated by three feet from the next grouping. If you have additional guests beyond eight, there is open seating with plenty of room behind the designated seating area
- Groups of chairs will be assigned on the field alphabetically. This will correspond to each graduate’s seating assignment.
- An added bonus to this seating arrangement is that families will not need to come to the field ahead of time to sit in the hot sun for hours in order to reserve seats.
Presentation of Diplomas:
- Graduates will be called up to receive their diplomas.
- Parents/Guests will be ushered by rows from their seats to see their graduates receive their diplomas and to take pictures.
- In order to be efficient with time, we must limit the number of guests who come up to see the graduate to four (4) for each graduate.
- Upon receipt of the diploma, parents/guests will be ushered back to their seats and a new group will be ushered to view.
- Two screens will be set up on the field to help parents/guests view the ceremony if they are unable to clearly view from their seats.
- Graduation will be recorded and a final video will be provided to each graduate on a later date.
- A professional photographer will be taking photos of the graduates receiving diplomas. Photos will be made available to families free of charge.
- We will be sending out a survey in order to find out if family members need assistance by golf cart to the field or to the viewing area.
- If you have any questions or concerns please contact us.
We will be sending more information out next week with additional information including specifics about seating locations as well as sending out a survey in order to identify who will need golf cart assistance to their seats and to the viewing area.
We are excited about the new changes and truly hope that this will enhance our graduation ceremony.
Craig Shull and Marcella Sanchez