From the emailed newsletter this afternoon from Division of Local Services (DLS) –
DESE Provides Guidance Related to High School Graduations
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Earlier today, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) released guidance concerning high school graduations. Please see below.
Between now and July 18, graduation should be held virtually or in limited circumstances following safety protocols, such as car parades.
Beginning July 19, graduation ceremonies can take place OUTSIDE under certain conditions, assuming the public health data supports continued opening of our state, at that time.
- Any graduation ceremony must be held outside only in a large venue to accommodate social distancing of at least six feet if attendees are not from the same immediate household. Tents or other enclosures are not permitted.
- Only immediate family of graduates can attend. Families must sign up in advance, and only those who have pre-registered may attend.
- All attendees must wear face masks in accordance with the Governor’s COVID-19 Executive Order No. 31 and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s guidance. Speakers may remove masks during their remarks.
- Graduates should individually be invited to walk across the stage and turn their tassel in lieu of receiving a diploma by hand. No handshakes or hugs.
Social distancing guidelines
- Guests who are not part of the same immediate household must be seated at least 6 feet apart. Members of the same household are permitted to sit together less than 6 feet apart.
- If there is fixed seating, rows should be blocked off and kept empty to allow for sufficient distancing between rows.
- Children under 5-years-old and older adults, or those with vulnerable health conditions, should be discouraged from attending.
- School staff must monitor the number of attendees entering and confirm they have pre-registered.
- No receptions are permitted before or after the graduation.
Venues must have sufficient access to hand-washing facilities, including soap and running water, as well as alcohol-based hand sanitizers available at all entrances and exits.