WEST ESSEX, NJ — Principal Caesar Diliberto has announced today that the Class of 2020 will participate in their graduation ceremony on July 9 at 10:00 a.m., with a rain date of July 10. 

A survey had been shared with parents and students offering various options last week as soon as the Executive Order enlarging the capacity for crowds was released on Tuesday, June 9. The graduating class has approximately 280 students.  It was confirmed that 192 students and 340 parents responded to the survey. 

The survey had offered four options which were:

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  • Thursday, June 25 - 4 graduation ceremonies with 2 guests per graduate
  • Thursday, June 25 - 2 graduation ceremonies with students only (no guests)
  • Thursday, July 9 - 2 graduation ceremonies with 2 guests per graduate
  • Thursday, July 9 - 1 graduation ceremony with students only (no guests)

The overwhelming majority of respondents chose the July 9 date, however there were differences of format between the student responses and the parent responses.  The majority of students chose to graduate as one class while the majority of parents chose to attend one of two ceremonies. 

Diliberto stated that because “the class of 2020 has lost many privileges of senior year.  Their desire is to be together as one class for graduation.  We are going to honor that.  As of today, June 15th, Commencement will include students only, but will include the entire class.  Should restrictions on outdoor gatherings increase any time prior to July 9, additional guests will be invited to attend.”

Diliberto in his notice to the students and parents acknowledged that high school graduation is a “celebration for the entire family” and that he would like to include family members in the festivities.  In order to provide an opportunity for the families to be part of the celebration on Thursday, June 18th there will be a senior car parade through the West Essex campus starting at 1:00 p.m.  Each senior is invited to bring one vehicle to drive through campus and receive their yearbook, a Wessex Wire Senior Edition, and their 8th grade letter to themselves.  Families are invited to accompany seniors in their vehicles and each vehicle will be limited to one senior, however seniors are encouraged to decorate their cars for the car parade.

Diliberto confirmed that the Commencement will be live-streamed, and the link will be available on the district’s website site and social medial platforms.