Dear Class of 2020 students & families,
First and foremost, thank you to everyone who reached out with alternative ideas to celebrate the HHS Class of 2020. We received countless emails, phone messages, social media posts and texts outlining every conceivable way to honor our students during this difficult and unprecedented year and we appreciate your thoughts.
Our hearts truly go out to the students and families of the Class of 2020. We can only imagine how everyone must be feeling at this moment. We want to ease your minds in any way we can, but there are so many factors that are simply out of the control of the Hudson City School District right now.
We started gathering input back in March, sending a letter out to parents and asking the Senior Class about their preferences for alternative spring events. At the time of our first meeting, we said that we would try our best to make their Senior moments happen. Never in our wildest dreams could we have imagined the school buildings being closed for the year: no senior trip, no prom, no spring sports, online learning for the remainder of the school year, social distancing, and mandatory face coverings in public.
We are currently at the mercy of the safety protocols induced by the pandemic. We must abide by the Department of Health regulations as well as local, state and federal guidelines regarding mass gatherings and social distancing. A traditional indoor graduation with 800-900 people in our auditorium would violate current social distancing and mass gathering protocols and therefore is not possible. We have to think outside the box.
We are doing everything in our power to give the HHS Class of 2020 as close to a “traditional” graduation ceremony as possible given the current state of affairs. We explored holding an indoor ceremony that would allow for only small groups at a time, but that is not feasible for a number of practical reasons. We are now planning and preparing for a graduation ceremony to be held outside at the Bluehawk Sports Complex track and field. The allowable size of the event, how safely we can conduct the ceremony and planning for inevitable weather contingencies are the dominant factors in any district decision. We do not yet have details about what the ceremony will look like, when it will be held or how we will be permitted to conduct it. All we know at this time is we must plan for the best graduation we can using the safety protocols that are currently in place. When and if those protocols change, we may be able to make adjustments as we get closer to Graduation Day.
No matter how we must do it, we are planning to honor our graduates in person. We want the Class of 2020 to hear their names called while wearing their Blue & Gold caps and gowns with Pomp and Circumstance playing in the background as they walk across the stage to receive their diplomas. These are difficult and stressful times and far from normal, but we will get through it together and we will make different, unique memories to last a lifetime. After all, we are Bluehawks!
Feel free to reach out anytime by contacting Bob LaCasse at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will use this site to honor our graduates and communicate any further announcements as they come up. We are here to support you and listen to any ideas or concerns you may have.
Dr. Suttmeier & Mr. LaCasse
Click here to download this letter