Dear Minisink Valley Class of 2021 families:
Our planning for the Class of 2021 graduation ceremony continues as we know everyone is interested in learning more about the planning process.
At the moment, we continue to look at the feasibility and reality of having one ceremony or several smaller ceremonies. We know it’s tremendously important for our seniors to have a graduation ceremony on the football field, and we equally know families want to know about who may attend.
For the moment, we can update you on the following:
- Graduation will take place on our football field. Whether that will be one ceremony or several smaller ones will be determined once we complete our thorough review of updated NYSDOH guidance on end of year academic celebration during the pandemic.
- Please hold Friday, June 25 for graduation with times to be determined. The rain date will be Saturday, June 26 with times to follow.
- Currently, students can invite only two guests of their choice (i.e. parents)
As you know, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) has issued very specific guidelines for outdoor events and all attendees will have to meet specific criteria to attend. Remember, these are set forth by the NYSDOH, not Minisink Valley.
This is important and will not change prior to graduation: Per NYSDOH guidelines, every attendee must meet at least one of the following criteria to attend:
- Have received the COVID-19 vaccination and be fully vaccinated at least 14 days before the day of graduation and provide proof.
- Have had the COVID-19 virus within 90 days of the ceremony, as shown through an antigen test result, and exhibit no symptoms on the day of the ceremony.
- Receive a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the graduation ceremony and provide proof.
- All attendees will be required to wear masks and remain socially distanced throughout the ceremony.
Anyone not meeting at least one of these criteria will not be allowed to attend the event. Again, these are NYSDOH requirements that Minisink Valley must follow.
In the interest of transparency and based on this timeline, if you are considering getting either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, you must do so no later than May 12 to meet the necessary 14-day post vaccination requirement after your second shot on June 11 to be eligible. (Pfizer requires a three week gap between vaccinations and Moderna requires a four week gap.)
If you plan on getting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you would need to so no later than June 11.
This is important to again stress: Currently, every person who can attend the ceremony will be required to show proof of one of these three indicators. While we hope restrictions will be eased before the date of the ceremony, we must plan for this scenario. Plan accordingly now, so as to avoid any disappointments.
Please also note: The district is required to follow NYSDOH guidelines, not the CDC, so while you may hear of changes nationally we must wait until the NYSDOH has adopted those to make changes in the school district.
We will continue to stay in touch as our planning continues and appreciate your continued patience.
Brian C. Monahan