Baker’s Partial Reopening Plan Paves the Way for Optional, In-Person, Distanced Whittier Tech Graduation

Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School, 2019. (Jay Saulnier file photograph for WHAV News.)

In light of Gov. Charlie Baker’s partial reopening plan, graduation plans are changing at Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School.

Superintendent Maureen Lynch said Monday Whittier Tech will hold an “optional in-person, socially distanced graduation event” spread over May 27, 28 and 29 in response to feedback from parents, guardians and students. She said the decision came after consulting with Haverhill’s Department of Public Health, the school committee, administration and senior advisors.

“Graduating from high school is a huge accomplishment, and it is a once-in-a-lifetime moment that our seniors deserve to have,” Lynch said. “This pandemic has posed so many challenges and significantly changed day-to-day life, but after receiving feedback from students and their families we worked hard to find a solution that would allow them the option to participate in a graduation ceremony. We’re thrilled that we will have this opportunity to recognize and celebrate the Class of 2020 this May,” she added.

A little more than two weeks ago, the school thought the best it might be able to do was provide the class of 2020 a “Graduation Box,” video presentations and promised future gathering.

Students have the opportunity to drive to the Whittier Tech football field with their diplomas, cross the stage once their names are read and have their photographs taken with parents. Graduating seniors will do so in alphabetical order, in three groups spread over May 27, 28 and 29 from 5-7 p.m. to ensure social distancing is maintained and also allow each student the time needed to drive to the field.

Students will be strictly limited to two guests and all participants will wear masks, while school security and staff line up each car and direct students and their guests when to drive to the field and where to park. No one, including guests, will be permitted in the stands of the field.

More information will be provided it as it becomes available.

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