We have just been advised by our governor of New Jersey, Phil Murphy, that he is expanding the allowance for in person outdoor gatherings:
“New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced executive orders Tuesday that lift the stay-at-home order intended to slow the spread of COVID-19 and increase the number of people who can gather amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic
“He said he planned to increase the limits for other outdoor gatherings to 250 people by June 22 and to 500 people by 3 July.
“Indoor gatherings must be limited to 25 percent of capacity or 50 people.
“School districts planning graduations should prepare for a 500-person limit to be in place by the time graduations can resume on July 6th,” the first-term Democratic governor said.
As a parent of a West Milford High School Senior, I along with many other parents are trying to contact our School board and superintendent to push for them to acknowledge this change and update their plans to allow for an in-person graduation but I am unable to get anyone to respond to emails and phone calls.
The students will never get another opportunity to ever relive this moment.
These children have been through enough disappointment this year at losing what should have been their senior year. They’ve lost so many things: prom, spring sports, honor and other award ceremonies, yearbook signing opportunities, their true last day of school, project graduation, etc.
We want our school to do what is right and coordinate an event after July 3rd that allows them to complete this rite of passage and salvage something for them.
Allowing them to hear their name called out loud and physically walking across a stage is the least we should be providing for them.
Currently, WMHS has planned for a virtual only graduation ceremony being held at the Warwick Drive-in.
With the current plan there is no target for the kids to gather, have live speaker presentations including Valedictorian speeches. This needs to change to restore some sense of normalcy and accomplishment for these kids.
Mother of Caitlin Janisheski, West Milford High School Senior Class of 2020