Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday said he would allow socially-distant high school graduations outdoors of up to 150 people beginning June 26.
The step easing prohibitions against large gatherings would give the region’s smaller school districts a chance to host commencement ceremonies closer to what schools have done in the past, but the participation of family members, educators and friends will be strictly limited under the 150 limit.
Cuomo added that the announcement remains subject to any outbreaks or significant changes in the coronavirus numbers.
“It gives us a couple of weeks between now and then, God forbid the number changes, but schools need to plan,” Cuomo said. “With the progress we’ve made so far, and if we continue this trajectory, we’ll be able to do that. But, again, we have a little time to see between now and then”
Cuomo has also enabled districts to host graduation events at drive-in theaters and on school campuses if students and families “drive thru” to receive diplomas and recognition.
The region’s largest districts graduates 500 or more students each year but many districts have senior classes of only a few dozen or fewer students.