Dear Grade 12 Students and Caregivers:
As our seniors work diligently to wrap up their academic classes, career technical programs, and cooperative education placements for the school year, it is now time now to talk about our graduation and senior week festivities. Our Graduation ceremony for the Class of 2021 will be held on Friday, June 4th at 6:00 p.m. We hope that this will be an event that our graduates and their families will cherish forever. This year, we plan to hold our graduation ceremony outdoors at the Essex North Shore Agricultural & Technical School Stadium. In the event of inclement weather, the graduation rain date will be on Saturday, June 5th at 10:00 a.m. If a decision is made to move graduation to Saturday, seniors and caregivers will be notified shortly after 1:00 p.m. on Friday, June, 4th through the school’s Blackboard Connect phone message system.
In accordance with COVID-19 restrictions, each graduate will be allowed to bring two guests to be seated on the field together in designated areas that are socially distant from other families. Per Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) graduation ceremony requirements, all graduates and guests will be required to wear face masks their entire time on campus, and this will include anyone who has been vaccinated. Once seniors have been handed their diplomas and step down from the podium, they will walk next to an official photography area where we will allow each student to pose without a mask on separately from all other students before returning to their seat.
Awards Night will be held in the school gymnasium on Thursday, June 3rd at 6:00 p.m. At this event, many members of the Class of 2021 will be recognized for their achievement, merit, and service through the formal announcement of scholarships and awards. Caregivers of those students will receive a personal invitation to the Awards Night ceremony. We ask that seniors who attend this ceremony limit their guests to two and that all wear masks and observe our socially distant guidelines.
We are happy to accommodate any guests who need assistance with interpretation services. This includes language interpreters and American Sign Language interpreters. We are also ready to assist any families who may require accommodations for a handicapped guest. If you will need an interpreter or require any other special accommodations at Graduation or Awards Night, please email me directly at [email protected].
In addition to Graduation and Awards Night, the Senior Class Officers and faculty advisors have many other special events planned for an exciting and memorable senior week.
Wednesday, June 2nd
12:30 pm – Graduate Lunch: Food Trucks and Outdoor Games
2:45 pm – Car Parade
Thursday, June 3rd
9:00 am – Senior Breakfast and Yearbook Distribution (sponsored by the Essex North Shore PTO)
10:00 am – Graduation Practice
6:00 pm – Awards Night
Friday, June 4th
6:00 pm – Graduation
Saturday, June 5th
10:00 am – Graduation Rain Date (if inclement weather)
We have been meeting frequently with the Class of 2021 faculty advisors to determine the best possible decision regarding the prom. In addition to following the Massachusetts Indoor and Outdoor Events Protocols, DESE also released updated guidelines on high schools and the prom:
- The prom is an inherently high-risk activity, as it is a social gathering that involves dancing and singing (both of which are activities with increased respiration), and also presents concerning opportunities for students to break health and safety protocols in a relaxed environment. Therefore, after consultation with our medical advisors, DESE strongly recommends that schools do not have proms and instead substitute alternative celebrations for seniors.
While we want to provide a memorable senior week for our seniors while ensuring the safety of our students, staff, and families, we do not want to compromise our graduation ceremony or the other events taking place during senior week. Therefore, we would like to survey the Class of 2021 to gather feedback about the possibility of a restricted prom or an alternative event. Please read the following survey carefully, and then complete the survey to choose the option that you would prefer. The survey will be open until 2:30 pm on Thursday, April 29th.
In order to provide all of these events, we need students to pay their class dues. Class dues are $200.00 in total. At this time, there are still many students who have not paid their dues. This money is used to fund yearbooks, caps & gowns, senior t-shirts, and water bottles. The dues are also used to offset the cost of some of the senior week activities. If you have not yet paid your class dues, please contact Ms. O’Brien at [email protected] or Ms. Sullivan at [email protected].
We will provide additional information regarding the final decision about the prom, seating assignments for graduation, and other specific details over the next few weeks.
If you have any questions, please contact me at [email protected].
Shannon B. Donnelly
Essex North Shore Agricultural & Technical School
565 Maple Street | Hathorne, MA 01937
(978) 304-4700 | EssexNorthShore.org
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