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N.H. DOE Offers Guidance to High Schools Planning Graduation Ceremonies

Jessica Hunt / NHPR
N.H. DOE says schools can host graduation ceremonies with social distancing and limiting size of gatherings.

High schools have new guidance from the state on hosting graduation ceremonies during school closure. In a memoshared on Wednesday, the New Hampshire Department of Education says schools can host in-person ceremonies, if all attendees can easily maintain proper social distancing.

The Department of Education suggests car parades and virtual graduations as a substitute.

[For an Iconic N.H. Tradition, Summer Looks Uncertain]

Another option, it says, is for groups of 10 people or fewer to gather in classrooms spread throughout a school to watch a live broadcast of the ceremony.

But some districts say they'll wait until the pandemic subsides to gather 2020 graduates for a proper ending.

Nashua Superintendent Jahmal Mosley says even if the ceremony met public health standards, the district wouldn't be able to police celebratory gatherings on school grounds before and after.

So Nashua’s two high schools are postponing in-person ceremonies indefinitely.

“It could be Thanksgiving break. It could be Christmas time,” Mosley says. “It could be next year at this time. Then fine, we’ll have four graduations.”

Sarah Gibson joined NHPR's newsroom in 2018. She reports on education and demographics.
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