WHS Graduation To Go Mostly Virtual, Diplomas To Be Handed Out In Drive-Thru Fashion With Teachers Lining Route

WILMINGTON, MA — At Wednesday night’s School Committee, Superintendent Dr. Glenn Brand confirmed WHS Principal Peters’ plans to hold a “hybrid” graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020 on Sunday, June 7, 2020.

“All districts are grappling on how exactly to best honor seniors during these challenging times with COVID-19 and limitations on social gatherings,” began Brand. “Principal Peters and her team have been working hard to explore and consider possibilities.”

“At this time, we have no clarity from the Governor over what potentially social gatherings might look like moving forward,” continued Brand. “I think the Ms.Peters has put together a plan that is wise given the likely limitations we’re going to have.”

“Sadly, but it’s a reality that the traditional graduation ceremony here in Wilmington as planned is simply not going to be a possibility,” stressed Brand, who has been fielding questions about why the High School can’t follow the model recently used by the State Police and Governor for a ceremony at Gillette Stadium. “I’ve talked to our Town’s Board of Health… Honestly, Mrs. Newhouse doesn’t see how that will simply be possible to stay within what’s fully anticipated to be the social distancing guidelines. It would be very, very limited in scope.”

Brand explained that, with the help of Wilmington Community Television, the ceremony will consist of pre-recorded programming that weaves in the mix of traditional graduation speeches. Assistant Principals will also read the names of each graduate and their photo will flash on the screen.

The in-person component of the ceremony will see students, with their families, drive to the high school at a scheduled time to receive their diplomas without leaving their vehicles. High school teachers and staff will line the route the vehicles will travel to wave to the graduates.

Principal Peters and her team are also planning a more traditional shortened ceremony in early August if social distancing restrictions are loosened. Only graduates and parents would be in attendance.

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