Middletown High School graduates will have an additional, in-person commencement event on July 9 at Barnitz Stadium, unless health officials issue new orders preventing such gatherings. The graduation will consist of three separate ceremonies to lower the number of participants and family members at each and lessen the chances of coronavirus contamination, said school officials. (File Photo/Journal-News)

Middletown, Fairfield set in-person graduations for the summer

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.

PHOTOS: Middletown graduates receive diplomas in drive-thru event

“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.

MORE: Students at Fairfield, Ross get personal graduation ceremonies in new venues

“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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