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Socially-distanced graduation scheduled for Bullens Field

WESTFIELD – Citing COVID restrictions on indoor events, Superintendent Stefan Czaporowski announced that the city’s high school graduations will be hosted outdoors at Bullens Field.

Westfield Technical Academy graduation is slated for June 3 at 7 p.m., and Westfield High School June 4 at 7 p.m.

Rain dates are scheduled for June 10 and 11. Czaporowski said COVID restrictions are too great to hold an indoor ceremony.

“It hasn’t rained on me yet since 2010, so we’re hopeful,” Czaporowski said.

According to state guidelines, there is a limit of six guests per graduate. Attendance will be limited to faculty, administrators, graduates and guests. Also required is a distance of six feet between graduates, and between guests or family groups in attendance. Czaporowski said they are going to have to adjust the configuration on the field and add seats in order to accommodate the social distancing.

Mask coverings are required for everyone, unless there is a medical condition or disability, and hand sanitizer will be available at stations.

Diplomas will be placed on a table, instead of being handed out to graduates.

The state has also strongly discouraged any performances at graduation. According to the guidance received, “singing and the playing of brass and wind instruments is strongly discouraged.” A distance of at least 10 feet between performers, and 25-feet between performers and the audience would be required. Czaporowski said the state is encouraging the use of recorded music.

Tickets will be given out and must be shown at the entrance gate.

Despite all of the restrictions, Czaporowski said everybody is excited to have the graduations again at Bullens Field. “We are thrilled to be able to have graduation at Bullens Field for the first time in three years. This brings a sense of normalcy to our seniors who are graduating,” he said, adding, “We’ll make it work.”

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