This message is from Aaron Hopmayer, principal of the Pine Bush High School, with specific information regarding our graduation plans. Please know that you may choose to participate in as many or as few of these options as you would like.
Option 1- Parade of Graduates:
The Parade of Graduates is scheduled for June 27 and will kick off at 10 a.m. Line up will be at Circleville Middle School and Circleville Elementary School. The parade will be led by our Top 30 students, and as the event gets closer, we will divide up the seniors by alphabet which will determine which school lot they will start in. Graduates are still being asked to not drive since we want them to enjoy the experience without the distraction of driving. In addition, we have several Board of Education members and community members who are willing to pick up graduates and their families, if there are transportation issues. If you would like to arrange a ride, please email Mr. Hopmayer directly by June 19. More information will follow as the event gets closer.
Option 2- A Personal Graduation- Round 1
During the week of June 22 to June 26 , in order to provide a personal graduation experience for our graduates and their families, the high school will set up two stages with Pine Bush graduation backdrops, and graduates will be able to walk across a stage, receive a facsimile diploma from an administrator, and have an opportunity to have photographs taken. The district has contracted with a professional photographer who will take pictures of the graduates and their families/friends. In order to make scheduling these sessions easier, we have used a scheduling site called “pick a time.”
When the student clicks on the Pick a Time” link, they will be brought to a screen where they will need to create an account and login. When they login, they will see a screen which lists the available appointments, and then you can use the triangle icon to page through the dates. The (2) indicates how many appointments are still available. When they click on a time, they will be brought to a screen where they are asked to confirm their appointment. Due to the large number of graduates, we will have two separate stages set up with two photographers taking photographs. Students entering the military or for those who need their diploma prior to July 31, please email Mr. Hopmayer to arrange a time to pick up your diploma.
Please know the New York State Department of Health has set guidelines to ensure the safety of all involved. Below are the specific guidelines:
- Any in-person event is limited to the non-essential gatherings in-person limit set forth in any currently effective Executive Order. As of June 4, 2020, in-person gatherings are restricted to 10 individuals. (With the administrator, the photographer, and the graduate, that means you cannot bring more than seven other family members to the personal graduation ceremony.)
- Schools must notify individuals attending the event, including graduates, their immediate household, or school personnel, that any individual who (1) displays symptoms consistent with COVID-19, (2) has tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 14 days, or (3) within the last 14 days was a close or proximate contact of an individual who had symptoms of COVID-19 or tested positive for COVID-19, is not permitted to attend the ceremony.
- Any in-person celebration must occur outdoors, or in a well-ventilated covered area.
- Consider the timing of when ceremonies take place. For individuals outside of their cars, consider weather conditions, such as sun exposure, heat, and rain. Take appropriate precautions related to weather protection. Consider if cars need to be turned off during the ceremony. Only staff, and for drive through graduations, a limited number of students, may be outside of their cars.
- Districts and schools should consider available space in order to calculate capacity and determine the number of ceremonies needed. Consider limiting attendance and broadcasting the ceremony via a livestream platform and recording the ceremony to provide access to those not in attendance.
- Single-direction flow should be clearly marked for cars entering/exiting any celebration area.
- There should be restricted restroom access and no refreshments provided to prevent areas of congregation and additional areas to monitor. Students and families should be advised in advance that restroom facilities will be limited and refreshments will not be available.
- There should be no sharing of food or beverages between individuals unless they are members of the same household.
- Ensure that facilities are accessible to persons with disabilities and provide all necessary accommodations for students with special needs.
- Any individual (e.g. student, family, faculty, staff) must wear a face covering when in attendance. As noted above, students may momentarily remove their face covering for pictures provided that they maintain appropriate social distancing from other individuals.
Option 3- On Field Graduation- July 31
The governor recently changed his directive, and now New York State is allowing up to 150 persons to attend an in-person, socially distanced graduation. In the event, the governor further modifies these guidelines, we will host a socially distanced graduation ceremony on July 31 at 7 p.m. where we will confer diplomas to our graduates.
Option 4- Herff Jones Virtual Graduation- July 31
In the event the governor does not change the policies regarding large gatherings, we will host our Herff Jones Virtual Graduation on July 31 at 7 p.m. Even if we are able to host our on-the-field graduation, the Herff Jones Virtual Graduation will also be available at a later date for graduates and their families to view, download, and share. So we ask ALL graduates to complete and send in their video clip to Marching Orders by June 26.
Option 5- A Personal Graduation- Round 2
We will host a second personal graduation during the week of Aug. 3 through Aug. 6. During this session, graduates and their families will be presented their diplomas (if on-field graduation does not occur), and again, professional photographers will be on hand to take photographs of the graduate with their families and friends (in accordance with NYS Department of Health Guidelines). The same site “pick a time” link can be used to schedule appointments for either session.
We will continue to provide updates as each event gets closer, and as we receive new information. Thank you for your support and congratulations to the Class of 2020!