HAVERHILL — The following is a statement from Superintendent Maureen Lynch regarding graduation and other Class of 2020 celebrations impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic:
“The reality of our situation today is that the Class of 2020 is graduating under circumstances no other class has had to endure. Never before have we had to close schools in this way, offer remote learning or postpone much anticipated, once-in-a-lifetime events.
“With social distancing guidelines in place and the latest extension to the stay at home advisory by Gov. Charlie Baker, we cannot in good conscience plan to hold an in-person graduation ceremony, or any in-person senior events this spring or summer. The health and well-being of our Whittier Tech community is our priority, and we will not risk exposing students, their families, faculty or staff to this virus.
“However, the Class of 2020 has accomplished a tremendous amount. They are smart, resilient, talented young people, who we will miss dearly at Whittier and who deserve to be celebrated. We will be recognizing our seniors, both through virtual events and in-person events once it is safe to do so.
“We are all deeply saddened that we cannot celebrate this time in person together. However, the distance among us at this time in no way lessens our pride in the senior class, or the achievements of each and every one of them.
“Thank you so much for your continued cooperation, patience, and above all, the kindness you have all demonstrated throughout this difficult time.”
“Whittier Tech will share a graduation ceremony video with students and their families on Thursday, May 28 at 6 p.m.
“A senior awards ceremony video will also be shared with students on Wednesday, May 20 at 6 p.m. during which departmental awards will be distributed.
“Details about where the videos will be posted will be announced when available.
“Whittier Tech’s 2020 prom has been canceled due to COVID-19.
“Seniors will receive a “Graduation Box” that will include their yearbook, cap and gown, as well as other important graduation documents, and will be picking their boxes up during designated times at Whittier High to promote social distancing.
“The district has tentatively planned to hold an in-person social for students, faculty and staff in the fall pending the deescalation of current social distancing guidelines, as well as an in-person graduation ceremony in May 2021.
“Additional information and updates will be provided to students, faculty and staff in the coming weeks.”