NY schools get green light to graduation ceremonies with guidance starting May 1
Pomp and circumstance are back on for tens of thousands of students across Long Island.
New York will allow graduation ceremonies starting next month with restrictions depending on venue size and location.
Football fields like the one at Hauppauge High School will finally be able to host a graduation ceremony for seniors. Indoor ceremonies will take place as well, but with restrictions.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says all event organizers and venues hosting ceremonies must follow the state's strict health and safety protocols, including requiring face masks, social distancing, health screenings and collecting contact tracing information.
"It's not going to be like the traditional graduation ceremony where there are thousands of people there, but we're hoping that we could get all of our seniors together to send them off," says Bill Heidenreich, superintendent of the Valley Stream Central High School District.
According to the state, outdoor ceremonies of over 500 students will be limited to 20% capacity for family attendees. Ceremonies for 150 students will be limited to just 10% capacity.
Senior proms can return as well but Heidenreich says that will look different too.
"I think it's a rite of passage that our students and families look forward to and we want to deliver as close to a normal experience as possible," says Heidenreich.
Graduation attendees must show proof of a recent negative test result or proof of a completed immunization prior to entry.