TOMS RIVER, NJ – Toms River school board members have begun openly discussing the possibility of no formal graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020 this year, but announced a possible workaround. The board said it would look into hosting a virtual ceremony, but said that ceremony would not take the place of an actual ceremony if at all possible.
While a physical ceremony might not be allowed by Governor Phil Murphy on graduation day, the district said it is looking into hosting an in-person ceremony once the lockdown rules are lifted.
Superintendent David Healy fully supports the live service, but the district also recognizes that some students may not be able to attend that later ceremony. The district is also looking into a similar arrangement for the 8th grade moving up ceremonies.
“I received a lot of communications from students,” Healy said. “Please rest assured that if these once in a lifetime occasions can’t take place on the days scheduled, we’ll try to make sure they’re rescheduled at a later date.”
Healy added that nothing is definitive and up for discussion. Healy said the time frame now is looking more towards the 2021 school year’s Thanksgiving or winter school breaks. Those are times when many college students return home.
“We will provide that opportunity,” Healy said. “We’ll not only have a graduation, we’ll have a celebration.”