BLOOMFIELD, NJ – The Bloomfield Public School district announced that an in-person graduation ceremony for high school seniors will take place on the morning of Wednesday, July 15 at Foley Field.

The announcement was made at the Bloomfield Board of Education’s regular meeting on Tuesday evening, and comes on the heels of a virtual graduation ceremony held on June 23.

After several options were presented to the seniors, the group wanted to all be present at one ceremony, which will result in families and friends not allowed to attend due to capacity restrictions for outdoor gatherings.

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One option was for two ceremonies to allow room for families and friends, but the seniors opted to have the entire student body all together one last time.

“We chose July 15 because the Bloomfield High School senior prom had already been rescheduled for that same night,” said Bloomfield Schools Superintendent Sal Goncalves.

In a hearing of the public, questions were requested ahead of the meeting via email and Facebook, and stakeholders expressed concerns regarding hate and marginalization, the district’s contract with police and school resource officers, diversity among faculty within the district, and social distancing procedures upon reopening in September.

“The board and administration has heard the concerns of the community regarding these issues, but we will not be taking any action tonight, however we formed a committee that has already had two very successful meeting to address our diversity, inclusion and general culture within the Bloomfield School District,” Goncalves said.

Regarding the Governors ‘The Road Back’ plan for reopening in September, a game plan for that process began this week.

“I am meeting with administrators, principals and supervisors, and we put out a parent survey that went out Monday and will conclude this Friday,” Goncalves explained.  “Next week, we look to collect feedback, then we will create a plan, then create a final project that we can submit to our board of education and the New Jersey Department of Education, then we can present that plan to the school community and parents, and have four weeks to implement the plan.  At this point, we are looking at both a virtual plan and an in-person plan, and that is all I will say, but we will serve all of our student’s needs.”

Goncalves continued, “This year had been historic and monumental with everything we have faced.  “I’d like to thank the entire Bloomfield community, teachers, staff, parents and students.  We had a difficult situation, but we had a successful and exciting end to the school year.”

Regarding fall sports, the NJSIAA recently released regulations for return to play for high school athletics.

“We will be entering Phase 1, and our Athletic Director Steve Jenkins is aware of all the protocols and adhering to the protocols are of utmost importance.”

Tuesday’s meeting was streamed live from the School Administration Building with board members participating via videoconference.  Proceedings aired on WBMA-TV since the public session was closed due to social distancing mandates.

Upcoming Bloomfield Board of Education public meetings take place Tuesday, July 21, and Tuesday, August 18 at the School Administration Building with a closed executive session at 6:30 pm followed by the public meeting at 7:30 pm.