As school year's end approaches, districts seek ways to honor class of 2020

With schools in New Jersey closed for the remainder of the school year, district officials are planning out ways to honor the class of 2020 who won’t be able to have a traditional graduation.

News 12 Staff

May 11, 2020, 11:28 PM

Updated 1,439 days ago

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With schools in New Jersey closed for the remainder of the school year, district officials are planning out ways to honor the class of 2020 who won’t be able to have a traditional graduation.
“When we finally heard it from Gov. [Phil] Murphy last week, I think it really sunk in for us and our graduates that it was so final,” says Rancocas Valley Regional High School Principal Joseph Martin.
Martin says that school administrators are now planning out a virtual graduation ceremony to honor this year’s senior class.
“I think it would be pretty passive and pretty boring, but we’re going to be pre-recording speeches and trying to add as much flavor as possible. Pictures of the graduates and literally have a release time where’s it's released on YouTube and try to make it as virtually realistic as possible,” says Martin.
The plans are not 100% set in stone yet and Martin says that the district is hoping to get more guidance from the state as to what they are allowed to do. But he says that the goal is to make graduation feel as real as possible.
“We would love for us to be able to slap on a gown and distribute them wearing a mask, gloves, whatever it takes, but those parameters have not been clearly defined,” Martin says.
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And while the class of 2020 will miss out on walking across a stage, Martin says that the district is still hoping to give the students the other big component of graduation – saying goodbye.
“I spoke to parents and several of our students. What they really want to do is get together one final time and see each other as a class, so, again…could we have a culminating get-together? A class of 2020 party, that would be ideal. We just hope we get to a point where we could do that,” says Martin.
Rancocas Valley will graduate more than 500 seniors during its 'virtual graduation' ceremony scheduled for June 19.


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