New state guidelines that will allow larger gatherings is good news for the Coginchaug Regional High School Class of 2020 and their families.
Coginchaug principal Brian Falcone send out word Thursday night, June 18, to the school’s seniors and parents that the graduation set for July 31 will allow a 250-person gathering.
“On July 31st, we are now planning to host a graduation ceremony so that immediate family members can be in attendance for the event,” Falcone said. “Our 124 graduates will be present for the entire ceremony, but parents will attend in two phases.”
The first phase will take place on the school’s turf field at 5 p.m. with the first 62 students alphabetically in the class receiving their diplomas. The second phase will take place on the turf field at 6:30 p.m. for the remaining 62 students.
Because of regulations, the school will only be able to provide two tickets per graduate to their assigned ceremony.
“We still hope that the restrictions on social gatherings will be further modified so that we can accommodate all parents at the ceremony,” Falcone said. “Due to the circumstances, we still plan to live stream the event for those who cannot be in attendance.”
In March, Gov. Ned Lamont began issuing bans on the size of gatherings as part of the response to COVID-19 pandemic. Those restrictions have been loosened in recent weeks as the state slowly restores business and social access.
June 17, the governor announced the state’s Phase 3 plan which begins in mid-July. The rules allow for outdoor gatherings of up to 250 people and specifically references graduations. The plan gives further guidance for social distancing and other measures to reduce contact.
Falcone said the school had surveyed a focus group of students. He said the general consensus was to have one last gathering of the Class of 2020 and school officials wanted to honor that request.
Falcone warned that information available at this time can change and plans will be updated, accordingly.