Cape Superintendent Bob Fulton explained his decision to stick with a virtual graduation ceremony during Phase 1 of Delaware’s reopening in a video emailed to families June 5.
“I just felt, based on all the circumstances and the guidelines, I could not in good conscience put a graduation ceremony together that I knew could not follow those guidelines,” he said.
Fulton said although Phase 1 allowed for gatherings up to 250 people, and districts could apply to host a larger gathering by submitting a plan to the secretary of education, it just wouldn’t be feasible for the district. It was not an easy decision to make, he said.
With 6-foot social distancing guidelines, only members of the same household could be next to each other, and not only in their seats, he said.
Families would need assigned seating in the stadium as well as assigned parking, he said. Staff would have to escort one family from a car at a time, a process that would take one or two hours to enter the stadium, and another one or two hours to exit, he said.
With about 350 seniors set to graduate, Fulton said, he evaluated different scenarios to determine if a live graduation could occur.
“I actually went out myself and measured bleachers and estimated the numbers of family units based on the number of graduates,” he said.
Using this data, Fulton said, three different ceremonies would be needed if each student received four tickets. If six tickets were given, five different ceremonies would be needed, and all would be weather permitting.
“I am looking forward to seeing many of you over the next several days, and most definitely when we gather again for a gathering of the entire class of 2020, in the near future when we can,” he said.
Cape High’s virtual celebration is set for 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 9. To watch, go to https://www.vegovirtual.com/cape-henlopen and use the password CHGRAD.