Governor Ned Lamont had encouraging news for graduating seniors and their families today (June 3) in his afternoon news briefing. As the state continues to slowly reopen, in-person graduation ceremonies will be allowed in the state after July 6.

Speaking from the athletic field at Farmington High School, the Governor and department of Education commissioner Miguel Cardoza announced that in-person, outdoor graduations would be allowed with a limit of 150 people. Social distancing and health protocols would obviously still be in place.

While that is obviously not a big enough number to cover all of the graduates and their families in most of our larger schools, it definitely allows for a little creativity to make some kind of ceremony possible. For example, he said that schools with classes of several hundred could spread the class out over two or three groups of 150 at a time. He acknowledged that it is not ideal, but much closer to a traditional graduation in that graduates would still be able to celebrate with their class.

Speakers from Farmington and Derby school districts announced their alternate plans, such as a car graduation for Farmington at the polo grounds, and an on-field ceremony at Derby, where graduating on the football field is a time-honored tradition.

Locally, Bethel, New Milford and Brookfield have all announced drive-through graduations, with Danbury still working through the details of an in-person ceremony.

The crowd limit of 150 people currently applies to in-person, outdoor graduation ceremonies only, but Lamont did say that he would be discussing upping the limits for outdoor gatherings with health officials. In that case, smaller events and concerts would be allowed as well. However at this point outdoor gatherings are still limited to 25 people.

We are holding a virtual graduation yearbook of our own. To see our gallery of grads and get your senior into the gallery, click here.

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