BLOOMFIELD, NJ –  Bloomfield High School will continue their plan for a Virtual Graduation Ceremony on the original graduation date of Tuesday, June 23 at 7 pm.  The district also plans to have an in-person Graduation Ceremony sometime in July.

The announcement was made at the Bloomfield Board of Education’s meeting on Tuesday evening.

“The Bloomfield High School Virtual Graduation Ceremony, with speeches and songs to be recorded in advance, will air June 23 on WBMA-TV,” said Bloomfield Schools Superintendent Sal Goncalves.  “As far as an in-person ceremony in July, plans are being made by the board of education along the guidelines provided by the New Jersey Department of Education.  We are not revealing those plans as that time, but as new guidelines come in, we will make changes to our plans and have an in-person graduation sometime after July 6.”

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The Bloomfield High School prom has been postponed until July 15, and that date is tentative.

“The senior awards night was a huge success,” said Goncalves.  “I couldn’t be prouder of the staff and students.”

Bloomfield Middle School will have a virtual promotion ceremony for eight graders, and information regarding elementary school promotion ceremonies will soon be announced.

Regarding the reopening of schools in September, the district has created a taskforce comprised of members and professional from across the district, plus the mayor’s office, township council and health department.

“Under the current (indoor capacity) guidelines, right not we would not be able to open in September,” Goncalves stated.  “I ask everyone to please have patience and if you have questions, please reach out to your schools’ principal.  Regarding kindergarten, we have virtual registration going on now and hopefully in the summer we will have an in-person session.  Whatever it may look like, we will have a successful reopening of school, and it will be in a healthy and safe environment.”

Regarding free breakfast and lunch meals for needy students that are normally only provided during the school year, new COVID-19 guidelines may allow for summer meal distribution with details to be announced in the coming weeks.  The district’s website will keep the school community updated as information becomes available.

In a hearing of the public, several questions were raised regarding diversity among the faculty within the Bloomfield School District.

“Last year, we put together a strategic plan for diversity and inclusion,” Goncalves stated.  “As a school district, we are committed to providing diversity and inclusion in all aspects district.  Recruiting minority teaching candidates is one of the things we actively do and something we look forward to continuing.”

Another question was asked about how the district is combating racism and bigotry within the schools.

“In Bloomfield, we have never accepted racism and bigotry, and we never well,” Goncalves explained.  “In a time when compassion and love need to grow grater, and even though we are not perfect, racism and bigotry are unacceptable.  We want to put a stop to it and add more programs to help combat it.  If you look at (our district) as a whole, I think we are doing OK, but yes, there are places for us to improve.”

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

The next Bloomfield Board of Education Public Meeting takes place Tuesday, June 30 at the School Administration Building with a closed executive session at 5:00 pm followed by the livestreamed public meeting at 5:30 pm.