April 19, 2020
To Seniors and the Parents/Guardians of Seniors:
On behalf of the Senior Advisor Team, who put together the alternate graduation activities plan, let me express our concern for all families who have been impacted during this unprecedented time. We have received emails and have been informed of social media posts which have not been favorable to the plan. We understand your disappointment over the loss of those traditional graduation exercises that we have all come to know and expect. It is not only a proud moment for you, but a proud moment for all RSU67 educators. Please let me provide some perspective on what the team had to consider in developing this plan.
We all know that the state of Maine, as well as most states, have suspended regular school for the remainder of the school year, and we are under direction to limit the size of any groups that meet in our schools, as well as keeping traffic in our building to a minimum. We have no idea when that directive will be lifted. This was the major factor in determining the graduation plan.
A question the group took into consideration was whether it would be prudent to invite students, parents, grandparents, family members and friends, some of which may be travelling from other parts of the country, to honor our graduates during a pandemic. We have already been informed some attendees will be traveling from out of state. Some of which may be coming from areas of high infection rates.
Another consideration was the significant risks involved for some who contract the virus. We believe it is not possible to insure the safety of all those in attendance at such a large gathering. I don’t think anyone would be in favor of having a traditional graduation that would place anyone in jeopardy of getting a potentially life threatening illness.
This was a brief summary of the conversations that took place in developing the graduation plan.
The extent of the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in our state and the continued restrictions necessary to protect our community continue to evolve. The intent of the graduation plan is to be proactive and ensure the accomplishments of our seniors are recognized. If we should plan for a summer graduation and restrictions are not lifted by then there is the potential for no celebration, as preparing for these events take time. However, we will take into consideration all future recommendations by the Maine Center for Disease Control and the governor in our planning efforts, including the potential for a summer recognition. The physical and emotional well-being of our students is of the utmost importance to the staff of RSU67. We ask for your understanding and support in these very difficult times.