August 9, 2020

Governor Changes Graduation Ceremony Rules, But Lyme-Old Lyme HS Commencement to Stay as Planned with Parent, Student Support

The traditional hat toss will not happen this year for the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Class of 2020 but plans have been made for a ‘Drive-up Graduation’ ceremony instead. File photo by Kim Tyler.

LYME/OLD LYME — It’s just a week until the Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) High School Class of 2020 graduates on June 12. Detailed plans for this year’s unusual commencement ceremony, which involves a drive-up event due to COVID-19 restrictions, had already been made when Governor Lamont announced this past Wednesday that outdoor graduations for a maximum of 15o students at one time would be permitted from July 6 onward.

Asked whether Lyme-Old Lyme Schools had any plans to change the format for their ceremony, Superintendent Ian Neviaser explained that there had been two separate virtual meetings held via Zoom with parents of seniors and similarly two separate meetings with students when graduation options and plans were discussed in detail. “We had a completely open conversation,” he noted.

The parent meetings involved around 60 families on the first call and roughly 75 families on the second while approximately 25 students attended each of their meetings. The overwhelming consensus at all four meetings was that people were on board with the drive-up graduation, which has now been planned in detail.

Neviaser pointed out that Region 18 still awaits official notification from the Governor’s office of the revised guidelines and that with only a week and two days to go after the announcement was made and before the planned graduation date of June 12, it was extremely short notice to consider making a change. Moreover he noted many students already had plans in July with respect to college, jobs, and vacations .

Emphasizing that with 127 graduates, LOL Schools could never have held a single ceremony — as is done traditionally — because the Governor’s 150-person restriction would not permit that, he concluded, “The vast majority are excited about next week’s ceremony … they did not want to push graduation off … they all want to get some closure.”

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