MORRISTOWN, NJ -  In an email to parents on Sunday, May 10, Morristown High School Principal Mark Manning set out to explain the school's plan for celebrating the senior class.

"As you know, on Monday, May 4, Governor Murphy announced his decision to keep schools closed for the remainder of the academic year; students will continue with virtual learning through the end of the school calendar. This past Friday we received additional guidance from the State stipulating that “in-person graduation ceremonies” are prohibited and “only virtual graduation ceremonies can be planned at this time", said Manning. "I know that our seniors and their families are disappointed and heartbroken by the inability to participate in all of the traditional celebrations associated with graduation. Please know that we share the same feelings, and we promise that we will do everything we can to offer a memorable and meaningful way to celebrate our graduates and recognize all of their accomplishments".

In the letter, Manning explained that the school will be finalizing details on the "virtual graduation".

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In the meantime, the school will be decorating the exterior of the school with tributes to the Class of 2020. School officials are also working on a community wide celebration. With no in-person graduation allowed, the school is still contemplating the possibility of holding the senior prom in late July or early August. Those plans will be contingent on the social distancing guidelines from the state, wrote Manning. 

"As a parent myself, I know how bittersweet these final moments of a child’s high school career are under normal circumstances. The current context in which our students are separated from their friends and unable to participate in the activities they love make this even more difficult," wrote Manning. "Even though we will not be together to share the joy of graduation in person, we will certainly be together in spirit".

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