An area high school is among the first to announce it will hold a modified, in-person graduation ceremony despite already conducting coronavirus-safe events for its graduating seniors.
Middletown High School will hold a series of graduation commencements outside next month at the district’s football stadium, and participants are being asked to wear protective masks.
And joining Middletown, officials at Fairfield Schools said they intend to hold a previously scheduled, indoor commencement in August unless further restrictions are imposed by the state.
In Middletown, officials said the July 9 commencement will be divided into separate ceremonies to better protect participants and family members from the coronavirus.
“We’re going to have three ceremonies so we can socially distance because that’s really important – we want to keep our community safe,” said Carmela Cotter, principal of Middletown High School.
Graduates will be limited to eight family members, and they will be seated in the stadium stands in six-foot separation recommended by state and local health officials. July 10 is the back-up date.
“We are going to honor every single graduate,” said Cotter.
The three ceremonies are divided into alphabetical groupings and will start on July 9 at 9:30 a.m., 11:30 and 1:30 p.m.
“All gates will be closed at the beginning of each ceremony. Immediately following the ceremony, exit will be at the field house gate. Sanitation will occur prior to the next ceremony,” officials said.
Fairfield High School graduates remain invited to the ceremony on Aug. 1 at Xavier University’s Cintas Center, school officials said Monday.
Fairfield distributed diplomas to seniors May 26 through May 29 and held a virtual ceremony on June 6.
“We realize that all students may not be able to participate in this ceremony, due to previously scheduled commitments with employment, higher learning or military service,” said Gina Gentry-Fletcher, Fairfield Schools spokeswoman.
“Our seniors missed out on so many milestones. We want to try to do as much as we are permitted to show them how much we care about them and understand their feelings of loss during this challenging time.”
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