May 20, 2020
Dear Class of 2020 and families,
I hope this letter finds you healthy and safe. I know there are many people in the community who are wondering about this year’s graduation ceremony and the events we have planned for our senior class. A week ago, the District and High School began meeting with senior class officers, parents, teachers, administrators and board members to discuss and plan for graduation. It was decided that a survey would go out to the Class of 2020 as well as parents to gather input on the options that were discussed. We continue to work hard to plan for many different events our seniors deserve and we want to provide for them. Please know that KCSD and KHS are deeply saddened by the fact that the Class of 2020 has already missed out on so many events which they looked forward to for years. To that end, we are doing whatever we can to ensure the Class of 2020 has as many senior experiences as possible, given the current public health crisis.
This infographic explains some of the events that we currently have planned for our seniors; including the distribution of Class of 2020 lawn signs, a virtual senior awards ceremony, a “Senior Send-Off” at Kingston High School, a virtual graduation ceremony, and the possibility of a later date for a ceremony where students will be able to physically walk across the stage.
We realize there is no substitute for an in-person graduation ceremony and know that graduation is an important milestone for every student. We know how much the students and their families look forward to that day. Traditions are important. Therefore, I must clarify the scenarios we’re discussing within our community regarding graduation. It is my hope that you will understand the circumstances and restrictions we are under and must follow when making our decisions.
The continuing directive from Governor Cuomo is unfortunately out of our control and mass gatherings are not allowed. As you are all aware, our county is still under the NYS on PAUSE mandates. As such, we will not be allowed to hold an in-person ceremony of any kind in June.
We are working on a virtual graduation ceremony for June 26th. We did not want this day to come and go without recognizing our seniors. We also plan to hold an in-person ceremony later, possibly in August, should the guidelines set by the state and local officials allow for it. Again, this situation is very uncertain and fluid. I do not want to promise something that may not be allowed to happen.
The health and safety of our families continues to be our number one priority and we do not want to host an event that may compromise anyone’s well-being. Please be assured that we will keep everyone up to date as more information becomes available. It is our hope that we will be able to eventually celebrate our seniors in person. We continue to think of you during this time and are doing everything in our power to make graduation day as special as we can.
Thank you for your continued patience and understanding.
Vincent R. DeCicco
Kingston High School