Dear Class of 2020 and Parents,
I am very excited to welcome you to the 62nd graduation from Northwestern Regional High School. The Class of 2020 continues to make Northwestern history. This will be the first time a graduating class has ever held a commencement outside. Although we would have all preferred to have held graduation at the Warner as originally planned, the reality of COVID 19’s impact on every aspect of human activity, makes this impossible. I am very happy that the Torrington Area Health District (TAHD) granted us permission to hold a graduation with a live component. Many schools across the state have not been as fortunate.
As you know, the commencement ceremony is being held on our Northwestern school campus on June 11th, at 10:00 a.m. We chose to begin the ceremony at 10:00 a.m. because it can get very warm in the middle of June. The rain date for the ceremony is June 15th, at 10:00 a.m.The ceremony will begin with a virtual component in which graduates and their families will watch the graduation movie of the speeches given by the Class President, Class Vice President, Valedictorian and Salutatorian, Dr. Palmer, and the graduation speaker. During the virtual portion, graduates and their families will also watch the Senior Montage. After this segment of the ceremony, the graduates will be directed to the stage where they will receive their diplomas.
Information regarding the graduation ceremony is outlined below:
Each family is receiving a ticket for entrance onto campus. You must have your ticket or you will not be granted admission to the ceremony. The ticket has a number on it that corresponds to the parking place the family must park in. TAHD has mandated that there can be more than five people in a vehicle provided that they live in the same household. Please use the map enclosed to find your parking place. All cars should be parked so that they are facing the stage area.
SRO Wood and Officers from the Winchester Police Department will provide assistance with entry onto campus and exit from campus and to help ensure that social distance rules are being followed.
The number of the parking place corresponds to the order the graduates will be called from the car to receive their diploma.
Everyone in the vehicle must bring their own masks and must put it on if they have to leave the vehicle at any time. Please turn off your car during the ceremony.
Graduates will wear his or her mask until they walk across the stage during which they can remove the mask to receive their diploma and have their photo taken.
Everyone must stay in their vehicle (even during the playing of the National Anthem) with the exception of the graduates, who will be directed when to leave their cars and where to initially report. Guests may only exit the vehicle to use the portable toilets which have been placed around the campus; two along the fence line, two near the AgEd Building and two near the school’s main entrance. Please use social distancing rules when using the bathroom. Please see the map for their general location.
The campus opens at 8:30 a.m. to enable families to find their parking place. Ushers will assist families with finding their parking place. For the safety of the ushers, please be patient while waiting to be directed to your spot.
For the safety of the graduates, all families must stay through until the end of the ceremony. Law enforcement personnel will acknowledge when it is appropriate to exit the parking lots.
The entire ceremony is being live streamed so that family members will be able to view the ceremony from home. The information regarding the live stream channel will be sent to you at a later date to share with family members who cannot attend.
Unfortunately, due to restrictions as a result of COVID, no one other than the event participants may approach the stage. Because of this, we will have a professional photographer from LifeTouch taking photographs of every graduate on stage. We will provide an 8x12 photograph of each graduate on the stage to every family free of charge. Every graduate should be dressed in their Cap and Gown (zipped up) and any sash or cord they earned during their high school career.
There will be an interpreter for anyone with a hearing impairment, signing during the event.
Exiting the Event: There will be two ways to exit the campus after the event: Battistoni Drive and through the gate at the end of the senior parking lot. Police officers will direct the flow of traffic so that we can all exit the campus safely and orderly.
In closing, I would like to stress that you must have your ticket to enter the campus for graduation. Having never held a graduation under these circumstances, please know that the ceremony may take up to two hours to complete, so please feel free to bring water with you. I want to also take a moment to thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to provide a graduation experience for our kids that is as special as this class of graduates is!
Over the two days you will be receiving a paper copy of this eblast as well as a map of the campus with the numbers of the parking places identified so that you can locate them easily. Your ticket for graduation will also be included in this mailing. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to email Mrs. Williams, Mrs. Melanson, or myself.
Kenneth L. Chichester
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