SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School principal Dr. David Heisey wrote to parents of the Class of 2020 on Monday to update them on this year's graduation ceremony. 

On Tuesday, May 26th, Governor Phil Murphy announced that New Jersey High Schools can hold 'live' graduation ceremonies that adhere to the various Executive Orders. We will review the requirements and restrictions associated with holding a live ceremony and make a decision at a later date.

The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) has provided school districts with guidance on holding graduation ceremonies in various forms. According to the NJDOE, prior to July 6, 2020, only virtual, drive-in and drive-through ceremonies are permitted. Beginning July 6, 2020, outdoor inperson ceremonies will be allowed, with modifications.

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Various families have expressed reservations of allowing their son/daughter to participate in an in-person ceremony. The health and safety of our students, staff, and families is our first priority, and we understand this concern.

Currently, our focus is to create a virtual graduation that fits with tradition and to have it aired as close to the original date of graduation, June 23rd.

Our school community is committed to adhering to the guidelines articulated by Governor Murphy and the NJDOE. Additional ceremony details will be provided at a later date. I anticipate an extraordinary virtual graduation and look forward to celebrating the Class of 2020 in the safest manner permitted. 

Part of the virtual celebration will be a photo or video submission from each student that will be incorporated into this year's virtual graduation. The video instructions were sent in a letter that only went to students:

We are in the process of creating a Virtual Graduation for the Class of 2020. This virtual graduation will feature the same component that would be found in a traditional graduation. Each senior will have the opportunity to submit a video or a still photo to become part of the virtual ceremony. 

Video Footage/Digital Photograph submission details

  • Students are asked to dress in their cap and gown, and along with any cords or stoles received.
  • A family member should capture the video/photo from a smartphone (landscape orientation preferred).
  • Included in the video footage/digital photo:
    • Students are to clearly recite or display their proper name as it would be read at Commencement. 
    • Students then have the option to deliver/display a brief message to include future plans, congratulate their classmates, or any other message fitting to this occasion.
    • The message must be appropriate or will not be included in the virtual graduation.
  • The video footage length is to be kept to 7 seconds, maximum.
  • The video/digital photo must be uploaded to the Tll765i Google Classroom using the students’ school-issued email  (ex:  20name@students.spfk12.org).
  • If you are having difficulty uploading your information, please contact Mr. Moskal at rmoskal@spfk12.org.

All videos and photos must be received by Friday, June 12, 2020, at 3:00 p.m.

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