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2020 Graduation Letter

June 1, 2020

Dear Clayton Students and Families:

Last week the Governor announced that outdoor graduation ceremonies would be permissible provided specific guidelines on social distancing were implemented. The Department of Education has released those guidelines, and I have included the link below for your information:

https://www.nj.gov/education/covid19/boardops/commencement.shtml

The Governor’s guidance reads “In accordance with the above, in-person commencement ceremonies are permitted only on or after July 6, 2020 and must occur outdoors. These ceremonies must meet the relevant capacity limitation on in-person gatherings in place at the time of the ceremony. Depending on the social distancing requirements in place at the time of the ceremony, varying restrictions will apply.” Currently that number is 25 persons with no information on what the number may be after July 6th.

Therefore, we will only hold our outdoor Clayton High School graduation if the number increases to a level where logistically we can graduate all our seniors and allow for parents to be in attendance. As previously communicated, we are maintaining July 29th as a possible date for our outdoor Clayton High School graduation ceremony. We feel that we have created a plan that would allow us to graduate all our students safely.

We are also keeping with our originally planned virtual ceremonies that will be broadcast on our website. We will move forward with our plan to virtually graduate the class of 2020 on June 18th. Because the Governor’s plan does not provide guidance for indoor promotion ceremonies, we are creating virtual promotion ceremonies for our 5th and 8th grade students. The promotion ceremonies will also be broadcast on our website on June 17th.

Finally, I would like to thank you for your patience and understanding as we try to navigate the end of the school year. The time during the lockdown has only reinforced my pride for the families and students of Clayton. On March 18th, just 2 days into Cyber School, I wrote a letter to the Clayton Community expressing my pride for my teachers, staff, and students on how well we handled the transition to Cyber School. Two and a half months later, my Clayton pride has only grown. We may be a small school community, but we have a big heart! Thank you again for your support and please stay safe.

Proud to be a Clipper,

Nikolaos C. Koutsogiannis Superintendent of Schools

Posted in: District News, High School News

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A Letter to Senate President Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Coughlin

On behalf of all fourteen Gloucester County superintendents who lead high school districts, we respectfully request the assistance of the NJ State Legislature with regard to planning voluntary, in-person high school graduation ceremonies next month. The attached letter formalizes our request and illustrates the safety measures established during the United States Air Force Academy’s Graduation Ceremony several weeks ago. This ceremony serves as an exemplar for what is possible and we are confident that we can conduct similar ceremonies for the Class of 2020.  While we have not been consulted as school superintendents on this issue, we feel compelled to advocate for our seniors and plan dignified ceremonies that ensure aggressive social-distancing measures. We would be ready to discuss these ideas in greater detail at your convenience.

Thank you for your tireless efforts on behalf of New Jersey’s citizens and thank you for your consideration of this request on behalf of our students.

 

Posted in: District News, High School News

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