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Cheshire High School graduation set for Sunday

Cheshire High School graduation set for Sunday

CHESHIRE — The 2020 spring semester for the Cheshire School District was one of the most unpredictable times for students in history.

Classes shifted to online learning, sports seasons ended abruptly, and most traditional end-of-year celebrations were either canceled or postponed.

But Cheshire High School graduation is one event that school administrators have been set on maintaining.

“We wanted to have an opportunity to celebrate our students who sacrificed so much during this past semester,” said Principal Mary Gadd. “I am so proud of how they have handled themselves through all of this. They were able to maintain their positivity throughout.”

Graduation this year will look different, starting with a date in August instead of June, and a change in venue in order to meet social distancing guidelines. This year’s ceremony will be held at the Farmington Polo Club, 152 Town Farm Road, Farmington, on Sundaystarting at 5 p.m.

According to Gadd, only students and their families will be allowed to attend, and they must stay in their parked cars for a majority of the ceremony. 

“We will have designated parking spaces for each family, and staggered arrival times so there isn’t a mad rush to get in,” Gadd added. “We will have an FM channel that those in the cars can tune in to, and we are going to be having speeches, though they will be brief.”

Students will be able to walk across the stage to receive their diplomas, provided they wear a face mask and maintain social distancing. 

Prior to making the decision to hold graduation at the Polo Club, Gadd and her team held a variety of meetings and conducted surveys to get input from students and families.

At first, the school district was considering a variety of options, including a virtual ceremony in June. However, feedback from the public made clear that most preferred to wait and see if an in-person ceremony could be held at some point in the summer.

“We believe that graduation belongs to our students and families and it is our job to try and make it as safe and enjoyable as possible within the state guidelines,” School Superintendent Jeff Solan said in an email.

While in previous years students have had ample time to rehearse the ceremony, this year’s preparation will be minimal. 

“Everyone has written instructions as to how this is going to go down,” said Gadd. “But hopefully the event will go off without any issues.”

For those who cannot attend the ceremony personally, the event will be live-streamed and will be viewable by visiting https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCULDbVCqppiY_3egBVDA-mw

The rain date for the event is Tuesday. 

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