WEST ORANGE, NJ — Seniors at West Orange High School (WOHS) were encouraged to “keep [their] chins up” in a recent message from Principal Hayden Moore, who announced on Monday that the West Orange Board of Education has agreed to cover the costs of caps, gowns and tassels for every graduate of the Class of 2020.

Determined to let the members of the Class of 2020 know “just how much [their] WOHS family has been thinking about [them] and contemplating how [the district] can lift [their] spirits,” Moore said he hoped this news would “bring a small ray of sunshine” to every senior’s day despite the stay-at-home orders amid the current health crisis.

“The board of education and the WOHS administration wanted to do something that was generous and memorable for the Class of 2020,” said Moore. “We also appreciate the fact that many families have been impacted negatively with finances during this pandemic. We want to ease the financial strain on our Mountaineer families.”

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Those who have already paid for their “senior dues” will receive a refund check in the mail or will receive a credit back from the vendor if they paid online. The district advises that refunds will take a few weeks to be automatically processed.

Although it is still unclear whether WOHS will be able to hold graduation in person at the Essex County Codey Arena or if it will be conducted on a virtual platform, Moore assured that the district is preparing for both possibilities.

Caps, gowns and tassels will be delivered to all graduates by May 8, at which point further instructions will also be provided. According to Moore, graduates will be asked to upload pictures in their caps, gowns and tassels along with a short video clip to be used in the event of a virtual ceremony.

If the district is able to conduct its traditional in-person ceremony, these photos and videos will be turned into a keepsake for the graduates, according to Moore. Each graduate will receive his or her own personalized content as a gift from the school to share on social media with family and friends.

Students can also still purchase yearbooks BY CLICKING HERE through May 31 for $110 each, including shipping.