High schools begin planning for outdoor graduation ceremonies

Some New Jersey high schools are now in planning mode to hold outdoor graduation ceremonies after Gov. Phil Murphy announced such events can take place by July 6.

News 12 Staff

May 28, 2020, 1:48 AM

Updated 1,424 days ago

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Some New Jersey high schools are now in planning mode to hold outdoor graduation ceremonies after Gov. Phil Murphy announced such events can take place by July 6.
News 12 New Jersey previously reported on a Cedar Grove High School senior who sent the governor a letter fighting for such an event amid the coronavirus pandemic. Schools across the state have been closed since mid-March to slow the spread of the virus.
Julianna Cicala says that she was ecstatic when she heard the news from the governor.
“A part of me feels like he saw [my letter] and I really hope he did…I didn’t really see anyone from our point of view as a senior in high school and I just really wanted to push for it,” she says.
Cedar Grove teachers and school administrators handed out caps and gowns on Wednesday to 120 graduating seniors. Principal Rick Mangili says that the school is working on plans for an outdoor ceremony sometime in early July.
“They will be social distanced apart. How many I’m going to be able to gather on the athletic field and how many I’m going to be able to gather in the stands for parents – what’s what I’m waiting to hear from the governor on, just like many of the principals in the entire state,” Mangili says.
Photos: 2020 Senior Spotlight
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But no matter what the ceremonies look like – seniors like Cicala says that they are thankful.
“Just the fact that we’re even able to do it, I’m just thrilled, I guess, and so excited just to see everyone one last time,” she says.
The state Department of Education is expected to release guidelines for the ceremonies in the near future.


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