BATAVIA — Batavia High School’s 2021 graduation ceremony will be different than it was last year. Rather than being divided into smaller ceremonies, all the graduates will be able to see their friends take part in their special day.
With graduation planned for the morning of June 26 at Van Detta Stadium, Superintendent Anibal Soler Jr. said the class will be able to have one ceremony, Last year’s graduation went well with the smaller ceremonies, but the members of the class wanted to be together to see each other graduate.
This year, the district is expecting 700 to 800 people to attend. Graduates will be on the field. Four guests per graduate will be allowed in the bleachers.
At Monday’s Board of Education meeting, Soler said prom and graduation continue to be a hot topic in the community.
“Everyone loves prom, everyone loves graduation. I’ve been tagged in a couple of social media posts,” the superintendent said. He showed the board a chart from the state Department of Health updated guidance for both indoor and outdoor events.
Prom is scheduled for June 19 at Van Detta.
“We are anticipating less than 200 attendees. Mr. Kesler’s done a really good job with committees,” he said of High School Principal Paul Kesler. “It’s an outdoor event. The reason why we want to capitalize on that is so that we could do 200 individuals and not have to test because it’s outdoors.”
Soler noted the state guidelines say it is option to have proof of a recent negative test or immunization when an outdoor event is up to 200 people. He said the guest list will be limited, which can be difficult, because everyone wants to bring his or her own date, but the district wants to control where people come from.
As far as learning format, Soler said, the district is about three weeks into its April 19 reopening.
“We’re up to a total of 141 students and staff positive on- and off-site. That’s only up six from April 19. The majority of them are not on campus. They were off-site. They went to dinner with somebody. They ended up saying they were not feeling well,” he said.
It was later reported that the person tested positive, Soler said.
“I think maybe two cases, were kids sent home from school that were not feeling well that the family found out were positive. I only bring that up because it’s data over three weeks ...” he said.
“We continue to work with our Department of Health, sharing any type of recommendations and data. We’ve got to continue to work on what reopening looks like. We’ll be setting up some committee meetings as we talk about the fall, waiting for some updated guidance, parameters for next year in the fall,” Soler said.