Graduation ceremonies to resume across Hudson Valley starting May 1
Pomp and circumstance are back on for tens of thousands of students in the Hudson Valley.
New York will allow graduation ceremonies with restrictions depending on venue size and location effective May 1.
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Here are the rules in New York:
- For more than 500 people, capacity will be capped at 20% of the location's maximum seating with a vaccine or negative COVID-19 test.
- For 201 to 500 people, capacity will be capped at 33%, with the same vaccine/testing requirements.
- For fewer than 200, capacity will be capped at 50%, with vaccines and testing optional.
- For more than 151 people, capacity will be capped at 10% capacity with a vaccine or negative COVID-19 test required.
- For 100 to 150 people, capacity will be capped at 33%, with the same vaccine/testing requirements.
- For fewer than 100 people, capacity will be capped at 50% with vaccines and testing optional.
Some schools districts in the Hudson Valley have already announced plans for in person ceremonies.
The White Plains school district says it's critical to make sure the class of 2021 gets the graduation they deserve. "This is an important capstone in a high school career, and really it's fantastic that the governor provided the opportunity," says White Plains Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Ricca.
Dr. Ricca adds that all rules will be followed. "We are going to be adding additional seating on the field. We need to make sure that we're doing the appropriate work to physically distance the graduates as well as attendees in the audience."
School officials from each district will make the decision as to whether or not to hold an in-person graduations. Some are holding off to see if the rules change as graduation dates get closer.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says even though in-person ceremonies are allowed, he's still encouraging drive-in or virtual graduations.