Will Schools Be Able to Host Graduation Ceremonies This Year?
Massachusetts schools at all levels have transitioned or are transitioning back to full-time, regular in person learning. As administrators, teachers and parents to continue to navigate these uncharted waters, the discussion surrounding end of school year graduation ceremonies are a hot topic.
Last week the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education gave K-12 public and private schools along with colleges in the state the green light to hold graduation ceremonies and released guidelines that they needed to follow.
While indoor indoor commencement ceremonies must comply with the regulations set for whatever venue is hosting them, outdoor ceremonies will have no capacity limit as long as there is social distancing six feet between groups of attendees and students) and air flow. Guests who are members of the same household or group are permitted to sit together and less than 6 feet apart. If a tent is in use, at least 50% of the perimeter is open. Officials are also asking programs to be as brief as possible, which actually will give friends and family a reprieve from the traditional brutally long ceremonies.
Masks and staggered entrance/exits are required for all graduates, faculty members, and guests and ceremonies are not allowed to include receptions or food and beverages. Graduates can walk across the stage individually and turn their tassel instead of being handed a diploma.
Locally, Berkshire County School Districts have not made official announcements about graduation ceremonies, but some do have them tentatively on school calendars.
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