WAYNE, NJ – Wayne Township is stepping in, under the direction of Mayor Chris Vergano to “facilitate” a graduation ceremony for the Wayne Hills and Wayne Valley Class of 2020, according to an announcement on the Township website. These will be two separate events, one for each school.
“The graduations are being sponsored by the Township this year due to the onerous rules being placed upon local Boards of Educations by the State Commissioner of Education. Mayor Vergano went on to say that “we have agreed to step in and hold graduation ceremonies since the Board of Education is unable to due to the fact that the state-established guidelines make it virtually impossible to hold a meaningful graduation ceremony. We are acting in their place because we can and, the bottom line is our graduates, who have been working toward this day since kindergarten, deserve it.”
Dr. Mark Toback, the Superintendent of Wayne Schools said last week: “While the headlines in the media may have raised hopes that traditional in-person graduation events are allowable in July, further reading reveals that graduation events planned under this guidance will not resemble the kind of in-person graduation events the school community was hoping to see. Currently, no event can be held indoors, and outdoor events are limited to 25 people. While this may change slightly, each of our high schools have well over 300 graduating students, so it will not be possible for all members of the Class of 2020 to assemble for the kind of sendoff we would love to give them. The District will be looking at options as we await the release of the forms and checklists from the New Jersey Department of Education on June 5.”
The Township will be holding their graduation ceremony in the municipal complex parking lot. According to the announcement: “The current plan is to provide 350 socially distanced chairs in the municipal parking lot for the seating of our graduates.”
After the Wayne Black Lives Matter protest this weekend, which was also held in the municipal complex parking lot, many Wayne residents on Facebook questioned why a protest of that size could be held, while graduation ceremonies weren’t allowed. But it is unclear if this is what motivated the Mayor to hold this event, and he has not yet responded for a quote.
The announcement stated: “The municipal parking lot is being utilized because current guidelines, as established by the State of New Jersey, precludes us from using Board of Education property.”
The current plan is to provide 350 socially distanced chairs in the municipal parking lot for the seating of our graduates. Parents will be limited to two guests per graduate and are asked to bring their own chairs. A PA system will also be provided.
Details, which are currently being formulated, will be distributed within the next few days.