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New state guidance for graduations

This Westfield Technical Academy graduate is not just wearing a mask, she’s making a statement during the July 30, 2020 graduation ceremony. (MARC ST. ONGE/THE WESTFIELD NEWS)

WESTFIELD – Superintendent of Westfield Public Schools Stefan Czaporowski May 19 shared new guidance received from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) regarding K-12 graduations.

For indoor ceremonies, students must continue to wear masks and maintain six feet of social distancing. Outdoors, students are not required to wear masks and should distance as feasible.

When indoors, attendees and staff must wear masks and maintain six feet of social distance from persons not in their households. Effective May 29, for outdoor graduations only, attendees and staff are not required to wear masks and are encouraged to distance from individuals not in their households as feasible. Attendees are encouraged to wear masks if they are not vaccinated.

With shared materials, cleaning and disinfecting, the new guidelines permit handing graduates their diplomas and awards. Graduation facilities only need to clean high touch surfaces and shared objects once per day, excluding certain circumstances.

Czaporowski said he is still awaiting more updates and guidance on music.

The Westfield Technical Academy graduation will be at Bullens Field on June 3, with a rain date of June 10. The Westfield High School graduation is June 4 at Bullens Field, with a rain date of June 11.

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