New exec. order allows in-person graduations, some schools still opting for creative ceremonies keeping social distance


Conn. (WTNH) — Governor Ned Lamont is set to sign a new executive order allowing in-person high school graduations beginning on July 6. But even without the new order, some high schools in Connecticut are already planning creative ways to celebrate their seniors at a safe social distance.

According to Gov. Lamont’s new order for in-person ceremonies, only 150 people will be able to gather and it must be at an outdoor venue. Local health departments are working with school districts to make sure safety precautions are followed.

RELATED: CT schools can hold in-person graduations, summer school starting July 6, Gov. Lamont says

Farmington High School’s class of 2020 will be among the students celebrating. Amid COVID concerns, the plan remains that these students will get a drive-thru graduation.

Farmington High School’s plan is to have families drive into the Farmington polo grounds. Only one car per family. Seniors will be dressed in cap and gown. Then they will be directed to drive up and receive their diploma in an envelope.

Brandon Demkowicz the Farmington Class 2020 Valedictorian and U.S. Presidential Scholar said he is “Proud of my fellow students.”

Sia Goel, President of the Farmington Class of 2020, added, “We will make the car graduation on June 11th the best graduation ever.”

A similar drive-thru idea took place this week for seniors at the Norwich Free Academy. They received a lawn sign and cap and gown. Their graduation ceremony will be held at Dodd Stadium.

RELATED: Norwich, Stonington, Waterford schools get creative to allow in-person graduation experiences amid pandemic

The students at Kingswood Oxford School in West Hartford recently held a drive-in celebration. Their senior photos splashed on a screen donated by Schaller Auto. All the cars in the lot had a bird’s eye view.

Governor Ned Lamont was glad some sense of normal was returning albeit with safety precautions.

“These special graduations are something you’ll never forget,” he said. “Hope to God it all works.”

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