Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday said New Yorkers have done an admirable job of “bending” the coronavirus infection curve. To that end, will be allow small, outdoor high school graduation ceremonies.
“We're going to allow socially distanced graduations outdoors, with up to 150 people total, beginning June 26,” Cuomo said. “That's when the schools start to graduate – high schools. And it gives us a couple of weeks between now and then – God forbid – the number changes. But schools need to plan with the progress we've made so far. And if we continue this trajectory, we'll be able to do that. But again, we have a little time to see between now and then.”
In response, New York State School Boards Association Executive Director Robert Schneider said, “The governor’s announcement today allowing outdoor high school graduation ceremonies for up to 150 people is welcome news, and a step toward allowing a more traditional graduation ceremony. While we understand the need to continue to be vigilant to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, school board members remain hopeful that the governor will allow graduating seniors the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate in a full high school graduation experience, albeit with appropriate safeguards in place to protect public health.”
The New York State School Boards Association represents more than 670 school boards and more than 5,200 school board members in New York.
In mid-March, Cuomo limited the number of people permitted to gather together to 10 or less, in an effort to slow the possible spread of the coronavirus.
On Saturday, Cuomo announced houses of worship – churches, mosques and synagogues – could reopen to 25% capacity in phase two regions. Previously, the governor said these institutions couldn’t reopen until phase four of his “New York Forward” reopening plan.