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Chester Academy Graduation Plan

We are currently in the process of planning our Chester Academy Graduation Ceremony.  We believe that the best way to celebrate our student’s accomplishments is with a “live” graduation on one of the fields used by the Chester Union Free School District. 

We are discussing two dates, as described below, to provide the maximum potential for a “live” graduation to take place.  As you know, the guidelines to keep everyone safe during the COVID- 19 outbreak continue to change and we do not know what the guidelines will allow for on the dates that we selected.  To prepare for the possibility that we will not be able to host a live graduation, the district is in the process of developing a virtual graduation to make sure that our seniors are recognized for achieving this great milestone of graduation.  We will be communicating information on this ceremony to you as students will need to submit pictures and information in the coming weeks.  We have chosen to partner with Herff Jones to assist us with the production if this “virtual ceremony.”

It’s important to stress that these plans are contingent on federal, state and local mandates which may be in place at the time of graduation. I appreciate your continued patience, understanding and support of these plans because they will be subject to change, based on orders and guidance from the Governor and decisions about the conditions at the time.

The Chester Union Free School District is committed to putting our very best efforts into holding a “live” graduation ceremony as follows. This is the four-point plan:

Friday, June 26
A “live” graduation on the Chester USFD Fields (Field to be determined) at 6 p.m. with a rain date of Saturday, June 27 at 10 a.m.  This ceremony will be organized differently than in past years and will be based on what current COVID-19 social distancing mandates may be in place at the time.  It will involve only students, staff and parents/guardians.  Please note: this is a fluid date and will be based on what federal, state and local authorities allow us to do. The health and safety of our students, staff and community members is always our priority. For now, please continue to keep this date on your calendars.

Backup to June 26: Friday, July 31
If the June 26 date is not possible, we are scheduling July 31 for graduation at 6 p.m. with a rain date of Saturday, Aug. 1 at 10 a.m. This allows an additional five weeks of time to assess COVID-19 conditions with the hope that conditions would improve and we would be allowed to hold a ceremony on Chester UFSD Fields. Keep in mind that this ceremony, like the June 26 ceremony, would also be organized differently than in past years, and would only involve students, staff, and parents/guardians.

Backup to July 31: Virtual graduation on July 31
In the event that neither of these dates are permissible, then we would hold a virtual graduation on July 31 by presenting a streaming video of our students in partnership with Herff Jones via YouTube. Because the lead time to produce a video like this requires a significant amount of time, we must start to prepare now, and that’s why you’ll be contacted about your photographic/video participation.

Drive Up Graduation option:

In the event that both live ceremonies need to be canceled, we would have a drive through graduation on the morning of August 1st, as a second part to the “virtual graduation.”  The Virtual segment would air at 6pm on the evening of July 31st, and the students would receive their diplomas the following morning in a “drive up” style ceremony at the Chester Academy.  Students would arrive at Chester Academy with their family in their car.  When their car pulls up, the student would get out of the car and receive their diploma and have an opportunity for a photograph. 

I know there are more questions than answers at this moment. Thank you again for your support of our commitment to provide the best graduation event we are allowed to present. I will be following up again, once we have more information from the governor’s office.

In the meantime, thank you for responding to the emails that will be coming about your participation in our virtual graduation video. Go Hambos!

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