GNB Voc-Tech to hold socially distanced graduation August 8

Jul 28, 2020

GNB Voc-Tech will hold its Class of 2020 graduation ceremony on Saturday, August 8 after the event was approved by the New Bedford Board of Health, according to a statement from the school.

Strict health and safety guidelines will be enforced for the ceremony, which is slated to take place at 9:30 a.m. on the Jeffrey E. Riley Football Field.

In case of rain, the event will be postponed to 6 p.m. on August 8 or to Sunday, August 9.

Throwing of graduation caps before, during, or after the ceremony will not be allowed, or the school may withhold students’ diplomas, the statement noted. 

Other new rules include requiring masks to be worn during the entire ceremony, as well as requiring pre-registration, allowing just two guests per graduate, and social distancing of family units via numbered seats on the field.

Staff will be on hand to help direct guests enter and exit the field in a single file, socially distanced line.

Gatherings before or after graduation are prohibited, as is hugging or hand shaking.

Other safety measures include sanitizing the venue and restrooms before the ceremony, and providing alcohol-based hand sanitizer at all entrances and exits.

Any person feeling sick, exhibiting any Covid-19 symptoms, or who has potentially been exposed to someone with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 should not attend the graduation ceremony, the release stated. 

Children under the age of 5, older adults, and those with vulnerable health conditions are also discouraged from attending the event.

“This is a huge victory for our seniors,” wrote school principals Michael Watson and Robert Watt in the joint statement announcing the plans. “We are excited about being able to provide a more traditional graduation...We understand that this has been a very challenging time for many and rest assured that we are doing everything possible to ensure a safe and memorable graduation.”