Please support a modified in-person Lenox Memorial High School Graduation Ceremony
To the Lenox Select Board, and Lenox School Committee:
We believe that having a June 14th virtual graduation ceremony for our 2020 graduating class would have no positive impact on their achievements throughout the course of their studies. The amount of hard work and dedication the seniors have put into getting to graduation day is immeasurable and cannot be taken for granted. While we realize that we are engaged in exceedingly difficult times, there is great sentiment that a modified ceremony could reward our seniors, as well as inject an immensely positive experience into our community. One of the driving ideas behind this action is the mere fact that it has been demonstrated as acceptable for 200 strangers to congregate at retail stores such as big grocery, big department, office supply, and home improvement, while the notion of having our graduating seniors and their parents properly distanced in an outdoor venue is being shuttered as irresponsible and unsafe. We fully understand that safety of our seniors, school staff, and families would be paramount in this situation, which is why we have collectively reached a list of suggestions for the Select Board and School Committee to review and accept. Our suggestions follow:
- If Tanglewood is unavailable, explore other local outdoor venues to host.
- Postpone the graduation date to July or August to accommodate easing restrictions.
- A smaller, modified ceremony could be moved to any evening if a weekend is unavailable.
- If the students sitting together on stage is considered a safety risk, have them sit with their family.
- Limit the number of guests that each senior can have, limit to parents and siblings.
- A venue could be set up to distance families apart from one another, i.e. in small roped sections.
- A state requirement of wearing a mask in public must be adhered to for the safety of everyone involved. No mask, no entry.
- State and CDC guidelines regarding gatherings (graduation parties) must be followed as well to whatever the requirements are at the time of the graduation. Another safety item to follow.
We fully understand that we cannot have the traditional graduation ceremony this year with all that is upon us right now. We are not looking for the perfect ceremony as we are accustomed to, rather we are in total belief that there is a way to modify and scale down this year’s graduation to unite our seniors with their parents and siblings. Keep in mind that when a senior is handed their diploma, the first thing they do is turn around and look at their parents. We need to make that happen, and we can make that happen. This is one of the most prized days of a student and a parent’s life and knowing the fact that this day could never be retrieved if it’s let go, is discouraging.
Please refrain from a firm graduation date of June 14th, as nobody is emotionally over this. There are options.
Jason & Kileen Miller