Update on Graduation Plans

Dear New Lebanon CSD Community, please read the message below from High School Principal Matt Klafehn:

As we are learning throughout this COVID-19 crisis, guidance with regard to our day-to-day operations can change from moment to moment. We learned yesterday via Governor Cuomo’s daily briefing that he is now allowing outdoor graduations, for groups of 150 people or less, beginning June 26th. Social distancing rules and masks still apply.

I know that it has always been the desire of our students to be physically together for the graduation ceremony. We now appear able to honor this, but will need to push the date of graduation off a week to do so.

The new graduation date will be Saturday, June 27th at 10:30am at WBH Elementary School. We will still be utilizing the bus circle and grass island for the ceremony. The only difference is that students will now be arranged in the center lawn, socially distanced, so that they can be with their class throughout the graduation exercises. Due to the 150 person limit, each graduate may only have 2 persons outside of the vehicle, socially distanced from the families surrounding them. All other persons will need to remain in the vehicle for the ceremony. The recessional will still consist of a parade leading our graduates from WBH to the high school as previously planned.

In the event that rain is forecasted for Saturday morning, the rain date will be Friday, June 26th at 6:00pm. Weather related decisions will be made on Wednesday, June 24th. Graduation will occur on one of the two proposed days, rain or shine. Please plan accordingly if umbrellas end up being needed.

Again, the details:

When: Saturday, June 27, 2020

Where: Walter B. Howard Elementary School

Time: Please plan on arriving at 10:00am to allow for parking to be arranged. The

commencement will begin promptly at 10:30am.

We are very fortunate to have been granted the leniency to gather in the manner that we have planned. It is imperative that all attendees abide by the following rules or the event is subject to being shut down by county authorities.

ONLY the graduate and 2 designated persons from each family are permitted to be outside of their vehicles during the ceremony. All other guests must remain in the vehicle.

Graduates are limited to 1 vehicle in the bus circle unless accommodations have been granted for unique situations.

Masks MUST be worn by all parties when outside of vehicles. This includes graduates, graduation speakers, volunteers, presenters, and family members.

Unfortunately, there will not be restroom access during the ceremony. Please plan accordingly.

Please cooperate with the parking attendants and staff directing traffic. Wait to be directed prior to maneuvering vehicles out of the traffic circle at the close of the ceremony. Cars will be routed toward the bus garage for the purpose of lining them up for the post-graduation parade en route to the high school.

Once at the high school, cars will be directed through the first entrance of the bus curve and out onto route 22 heading in the direction of Shatford Park. All vehicles will need to make a left out of the high school and reorient themselves away from the parade traffic.

I apologize for the change in date, but believe that the move will help to make graduation more enjoyable for all. Please be advised that the Governor has cautioned that should COVID cases/hospitalizations take a turn for the worse, his guidance may be adjusted and tightened. Should that be the case, we may return to the original plan. I will be sure to keep everyone posted.


Matthew R. Klafehn, Principal