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Uncertain fate for high school graduations

There is still some uncertainty as to the fate of this year’s graduation ceremonies for Gloucester and Mathews high school seniors, as officials in both divisions continue to keep a close eye on the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Gloucester

Gloucester County Public Schools officials, in the Continuity for Learning framework released earlier this month, issued the following statement:

“GCPS recognizes that commencement exercises are one of the most significant milestones in the lives of the seniors, and an important recognition and celebration of their educational journey and path toward adulthood.

“Currently scheduled for June 6 at Kaplan Arena on the campus of William & Mary, the commencement exercises for the Class of 2020 fall within the Governor’s current stay-at-home order, which expires June 10.

“GHS staff are exploring alternatives, including dates in later June and even July, to reschedule or relocate if the Governor’s order continues or is extended. More details will be shared with families as updates are available.”

During the Gloucester County School Board’s April 14 e-meeting, school division superintendent Walter Clemons said, “We know June 6 is not a possibility, but we’re looking at other dates in June or July, if a venue is available.”

“I think we need to be flexible,” Clemons said. “Our desire would be to assemble, but if we can’t, we can look at alternatives, such as a virtual graduation.”

In Mathews

In a response to a question about the scheduled June 6 graduation at Mathews High School, division superintendent Nancy Welch said Monday that “graduation has not been rescheduled to date. It all depends on the ‘curve,’” referring to the models tracking new cases, hospitalizations and deaths from the virus.