Hodgdon graduation plans include parents in cars and students 12 feet apart

HOULTON, Maine — For Hodgdon High School’s 32 graduating seniors, the end of their high school life has been interrupted by stay-at-home orders and social distancing practices.

But while they may miss out on a proper end of their school year, they may still be able to have a graduation ceremony to celebrate their achievements. 

At Monday’s school board meeting for SAD 70, which includes Hodgdon High School, further details were unveiled regarding a planned graduation ceremony for the school’s seniors.

The event would be held outside — with parents confined to their cars in order to continue the practice of social distancing — as well as a limit on the number of people who have gathered outside to fewer than 50 people. 

Students will also be placed 12 feet apart from each other, twice the distance recommended by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 

“This is all contingent upon whether the state allows us to have a gathering of 50 or less,” Steven Fitzpatrick, the superintendent of the school district, said. “We’re still finalizing it, but that’s kind of the rough draft of that.”

Under Gov. Janet Mills’ reopening plan, limitations on how many people can gather will be raised from 10 people to 50 beginning on June 1, as part of the second stage of reopening Maine. But the civil state of emergency Mills declared has also been extended until June 11.

The planned graduation ceremony for Hodgdon is scheduled to take place on June 5 on the school field, where baseball and soccer games normally take place.. 

In the event of weather preventing the ceremony from being held outside, students would be called remotely in place of a graduation ceremony. 

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