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Barrington High School will have virtual graduation ceremony

Students will be video-recorded walking across the stage with their masks on

Posted 5/14/20

Barrington High School will hold a virtual graduation ceremony this year because of concerns surrounding the coronavirus.

School officials emailed students and their families on Wednesday night, …

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Please support local news coverage –

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Barrington High School will have virtual graduation ceremony

Students will be video-recorded walking across the stage with their masks on

Posted

Barrington High School will hold a virtual graduation ceremony this year because of concerns surrounding the coronavirus.

School officials emailed students and their families on Wednesday night, announcing the news. The email detailed how each student will be video-recorded days ahead of the June 7 broadcast date — only one student will be allowed to enter the building at a designated time.

"As they walk across the stage with the diploma jacket in hand, they will stop for a photo with their masks on," stated the email. "After the picture, they will flip their tassel and proceed off the stage."

Schools officials will compile the videos of each student into a virtual graduation ceremony that will be aired on Sunday, June 7 at 2 p.m.

"We understand that nothing we plan will replace the experiences of a student receiving a diploma in front of your classmates, families, teachers, and community," wrote Barrington Superintendent of Schools Michael Messore. "Graduating from high school is an important milestone in a student's life, which is a result of many years of hard work, relationships with classmates and teachers as well as opportunities to be part of a variety of school activities. Now is a time that we need to rally together and support and honor our graduates in alternative ways."

Some students had suggested school officials plan a drive-in graduation ceremony where students and their families would attend an event inside their vehicles at the BHS parking lot or another large field.

School officials said they explored that option.

"Several superintendents across the state shared that they too explored drive-in type graduation viewings and confirmed that if they elected this option these viewings would not include students exiting vehicles," Mr. Messore wrote. "In addition, restrooms continue to be problematic. Finally, due to the potential of holding a ceremony on a day with high temperatures and since car windows are required to be closed, concerns exist regarding people getting out of their cars and the environmental impact of running cars. Many drive-in viewing options were explored; however, the restrictions were too prohibitive."

Mr. Messore wrote that he and other school administrators wished the circumstances were different and that they were able to hold a traditional graduation ceremony.

"However, there is nothing we can do to reverse the negative impacts inflicted upon us by a situation outside of our control," he wrote. "We need to focus on celebrating our senior class while making sure that we follow all state and federal public health restrictions that are necessary to protect the children and adults of our community. Now is the time to unite to support them, encourage them, appreciate them, and safely recognize Barrington High School’s graduating Class of 2020."

Other ways to honor BHS seniors

• The Barrington Education Foundation has proposed a "Seniors last day car parade" through the center of town on May 29.

• The school department will hang two special banners on the high school fence along County Road — the banners will congratulate members of the senior class.

• The Barrington Business Association is collaborating with the school department to hand special banners displaying each graduate's name. The banners will hang from the lamp posts on County Road and Maple Avenue.

• The Class of 2020 purchased signs celebrating our graduates and parents helped organize and distribute these to students across town starting May 13.

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.