PLAINFIELD, NJ — Now that spring break is over and local schools have returned to their virtual learning curriculums, many high school Seniors are wondering how the COVID-19 health crisis will impact their final weeks of school and, ultimately, graduation.  Plainfield revealed on Monday that a virtual graduation will take place for the Class of 2020, yet a date has not yet been set.

Superintendent Dr. Diana Mitchell said, “We want you to know that throughout the entire pandemic, the Class of 2020 has been constantly on our minds. The District is working around the clock with committees from Plainfield High School and Plainfield Academy for the Arts and Advanced Studies (PAAAS) to develop a virtual graduation that is fitting for the Class of 2020."  There are 400 graduating Seniors.

Public Schools across New Jersey were advised to remain closed until May 15, announced by Governor Murphy in his April 16 press conference; there is no definitive date for students to return to school as the State contemplates the next steps for reopening.

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Javonni Coleman, President of the Plainfield High School Class of 2020, said the virtual ceremony will feature many of the traditional presentations.  “There will be a video of the Valedictorian, we are still planning everything.” Mr. Coleman said the only difference is that diplomas will be mailed to students.

Dr. Mitchell described the senior class as “innovative and resilient” and “models of resiliency” as they quickly had to transition to virtual learning to complete their high school experience.

She encouraged the students to support and uplift each other, while also acknowledging that there might be feelings of frustrations and sadness, and to seek support from families and the school district.

“As you begin to prepare for the next phase of your life, reflect on what you have learned: the value of relationships, your health and that of those around you, the importance of helping others who may not have all they need to get through this pandemic, and, more importantly, the role you will play one day in helping society,’ wrote Mitchell.

In closing, Mitchell reminded the graduating class to make the best of the difficult circumstances, saying, “You have the eyes of your loved ones, underclassmen, and the Plainfield community watching; we know that you will continue to meet and exceed our expectations.”

Click here to download the English and Spanish versions of the letter.

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